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Issue of September 2006 
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Citibank deploys PayMate

Citibank recently announced their deployment of PayMate, a mobile payment solution provided by PayMate India. The bank believes that the solution is one of the most secure and convenient modes of payment for online transactions, and is currently rolling out the service to its customers in India.

What PayMate essentially does is provide both the bank and its customers with a mobile payment platform to make transactions faster. The user needs to register with the bank by sending ‘PayMate’ as an SMS to 2848. The bank later verifies the application. The account-holder is then enabled to shop or transact on (for now) a few listed Web sites (naukri.com, rediff.com, cleartrip.com, jeevansathi.com and 99acres.com).

To make the transaction, the user needs to select the mobile payment option provided at the Web site at the time of purchase. After this the buyer has to send an SMS containing the purchase code (provided for the item at the site) and the PIN that is provided by the bank at the time of registration.

This information was provided in the form of a demo at the launch meet. “We want our customers to have convenient and secure transactions with our bank. As far as customers getting used to it is concerned, it will take a little time, just like it took ATMs a little time to get established,” said Vijay Ramchandran, Country Marketing Director and Head, Internet Banking, Citibank India, as he explained why they chose to implement PayMate. “It’s simple,” he pointed out. “All you need is a Citibank account and an SMS-enabled cell phone.”

A big advantage was pointed out by Ajay Adiseshann, Founder and MD, PayMate: “You are not providing any credit card details to any unknown person.” He said that the user only provides the cell-phone number and the PIN, both of which are unique to that particular user, thus cutting out the chances of a security breach.

Probir Roy, PayMate’s Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, said that PayMate plans to join hands with 13 other banks in India, but the details are still being discussed.

 
     
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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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