Google's Tez inspired by sound payments in Africa

Google's launch of its Tez app in India has brought sound payments to the fore.

Tez is an app for smartphones that uses AudioQR, a verification code through ultrasound, to perform P2P and P2B payments between any two smartphones.

The use of sound allows Google to bypass NFC, with some journalists already claiming the death of the proprietary technology of the mobile network operators and phone manufacturers.

The use of sound for payments also allows two smartphones to exchange payment information without having to share the user's personal information, such as phone number or account number. Marketed as "Cash Mode" on the Tez app, this form of money transfer aims to create a digital version of the cash transaction, with the same level of anonymity between the concerned parties.

Developed over the past 10 years by FinTech TagPay, universal sound payments are already deployed in Africa.

TagPay's Near Sound Data Transfer™ (NSDT™) technology, uses sound to share a one time password between two mobile phones, to confirm a digital payment. NSDT™turns any mobile phone into a contactless payment tool, be it a feature phone or a smartphone, and independently of the mobile network operator being used. Today, any phone that can accept a phone call can make a sound payment. 

Pioneering banks in Africa use TagPay's sound payments for a complete range of digital financial services, from loan repayments, digital subsidies, and merchant payments in a store. Banco Postale's Xikila in Angola, the Trust Merchant Bank's Pepele Mobile in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Société Générale's YUP in West Africa all use the TagPay digital banking platform to run their spinoff banks, and use NSDT™ to sign transactions between their clients and their agent and merchant network. TagPay's client banks are building the banking infrastructure of the last mile, to reach new market segments, which is made possible thanks to the transparency and traceability of the digital transactions.

With sound payment technology being used to bring financial services to the underserved, and digitize part of the world's informal economy, sound payments have carved their place in the payments space.


-- Editorial by Estelle Eonnet, Head of Marketing and Business Development at TagPay Inc.



Société Générale has launched YUP in West Africa, and uses sound payments for clients with smartphones and feature phones. Video in French:


Demos of TagPay's Near Sound Data Technology or NSDT™, that uses sound to transform any mobile device into a contactless payment tool. Here is a transaction between two smartphones, with no personal information exchanged between the two parties.

Here is a demo of a merchant payment, between a smartphone and a feature phone, where the person paying enters his phone number onto the merchant app in order to begin the universal sound transaction:

Google's presentation of Tez, made for India first:


Tez' AudioQR and TagPay's NSDT in post by tech specialist and blogger Patrice Bernard here (FR).

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