Today, Ikaaz has launched in Kenya in partnership with the Family Bank,to give Family Bank customers ability to pay via Near Field Communication (NFC) and Tap and Pay Bluetooth payment solutions. Family Bank’s customers will therefore be able to pay faster at supermarkets, restaurants and even in matatus. iKaaz will be working with EDGE financial systems (EFSL).
Soma Sundaram, founder and CEO, iKaaz in a statement said:“We are extremely encouraged to see that our ‘Tap and Pay’ solution will play an integral role within the Kenyan mobile payments ecosystem. The iKaaz cloud-based payments platform helps banks to quickly come on-board and offer the solution to their customers.”
Sundaram has worked at Nokia’s global mobile money division and was VP- product engineering at Obopay. iKaaz is Tamil for Kaas (money) and i for digital. iKaaz competitors include Mswipe, Ezetap and Cobboc Pvt Ltd all based in India.
iKaaz provides a comprehensive suite of end-to-end mobile payments solutions that include a feature rich mobile wallet, an innovative – yet cost effective mPOS (mobile Point of Sale) and a robust payments platform that allows banks, operators and financial institutions to extend mobile payments to their customers in a fast, secure and cost effective manner.
Consumers use NFC tags that are linked to the mobile wallet similar to a debit card that is linked to bank accounts; while merchants on the other hand, will use iKaaz NFC mPOS to complete transactions all of which are processed by iKaaz’s robust payments platform. Its mobile payments platform are used by enterprises, business correspondents and merchants around the emerging markets. iKaaz mPOS solution works on feature phones via an NFC tag which costs less than $2.
Family Bank customers will therefore link their accounts and payment cards to the iKaaz NFC tag on their mobile phones and also add iKaaz SMS-based payment transactions. In Janaury, iKaaz raised an undisclosed amount round of seed funding led by Ananda Kallugadde’s NeoBytes Software Solutions, with participation from a group of other unnamed investors to expand its operations in India and Africa.
Family Banks’ move gives users a proliferation of cards to choose from as transport payments cards such as Matatu Owners Assocation’s 1963, Google’s Beba, KCB’s Abiria among others with Safaricom’s and Equity’s independent plans to move into NFC not forgeting mobile money services such as Lipa na M-Pesa, Lipa sasa na MobiKash among others.