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HDFC Bank launches Ultracash for mobile proximity payments


HDFC Bank has launched a new payments app called UltraCash which will allow users to make proximity payments at merchants without NFC technology. Instead, UltraCash uses high frequency sound waves to make a payment, something we have seen in the case of iKaaz’s MOWA.

Interestingly, UltraCash had partnered with YES Bank in February to let Ultracash issue YES Bank sponsored mobile wallets. It would also employ YES Bank’s IMPS payments platform to enable processing of instant proximity transactions.

Other banks with proximity payments include Lime by Axis Bank through a combination of sound and Bluetooth frequencies.

UltraCash allows you to link your bank account or cards to the app and make proximity payments to other peers on mobile or merchants. For now, it seems that UltraCash is only active in Bangalore. A full list of the merchants who accept payments via UltraCash here.

In addition, UltraCash also allows recharge mobile and DTH connections and pay bills.

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Currently, the app is available on Android only and an iOS version will be coming out soon.

Chillr launch: Note that HDFC Bank had also launched Chillr for peer-to-peer payments. The app has since tied up with seven other banks to allow payments. Chillr raised $6 million in a Series A round of funding from Sequoia Capital. Chillr was initially incubated by MobME Wireless Solutions Ltd as a product, however post development, it was spun off as an independent entity in December 2014.

ATM fraud detection: HDFC Bank reported that its pilot with the NPCI has 25,000 consenting customers for tracking their location.  The technology for the pilot was developed by Zumigo where the lender will be able to map a customer’s location via cell tower triangulation to prevent fraud at ATM machines. The bank began this pilot in November 2015.

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