Eckoh and Worldpay have demonstrated what they’re calling the world’s first telephone-based Apple Pay payment.
Announcing the accomplishment in a statement, Eckoh called it a “breakthrough proof of concept”, with Director of Payments Strategy Cameron Ross explaining the process. Essentially, when a customer is on the phone with a merchant and would like to pay for something, the merchant would send a notification to that customer’s smartphone asking for payment confirmation, which the caller would then provide via her smartphone. Like all other Apple Pay transactions, the system would use the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint scanning system for transaction verification.
The system will strike some users as a solution in need of a problem. Apple Pay and its rival mPayment systems have emerged as consumers have increasingly sought to use their smartphones for everything but traditional telephone calls, and much of its use revolves around in-app payments. But for those situations in which a product or service is still sold over the phone, Eckoh and Worldpay’s system does offer a means of payment that is more secure than providing credit card details, since it requires the person making a payment to possess the correct smartphone, and the right biometrics.
Worldpay has previously demonstrated its interest in exploring novel payment technologies in its collaboration with Visa Europe on finger vein-based payments, and its work here with Eckoh demonstrates the same spirit put to quite a different end. Meanwhile, Eckoh suggests that the system will play a role in its “overall contact center payments capability”, which could appeal to organizations still doing this kind of business over the phone.