OTPay Brings Physical mCommerce to Hungary

OTP Bank’s pay-with-your-phone solution leverages QR Codes for mobile payment

This week, OTP Bank, in partnership with MasterCard and Cellum released OTPay to the general public. The physical mCommerce solution offers Hungarian users an integrated mobile wallet for their smartphones. It adheres to all of MasterCard’s standards for mobile payment systems and most importantly is easy to use and deploy.

Users simply download the app and register a bank card, while merchants opt to introduce mobile payments in their stores free of charge. This second part is an important detail: a barrier of adoption in the area of physical mCommerce is cost for the relying party.

Retailers that participate will have a unique QR code next to their register that a customer can scan in order to authorize the transaction.

Already accepted in 90 Hungarian stores, OTPay will be the first digital wallet in Europe to integrate MasterCard’s global payment platform: MasterPass. This means that in addition to the security of never revealing bank account information, users will also have the assurance that comes with the payment network’s fraud monitoring and identification services.

“We’re on the verge of some really exciting changes,” says Balázs Inotay, founder of Cellium. “We’ve never been this close to the U.S. or Japanese markets in terms of mobile payments. We’re technically letting anyone pay anywhere using a smartphone. This opens a new chapter in the evolution of mobile payments in the region.”

“OTPay is to date the most open mobile payment scheme in Hungary,” adds Péter Forrai, managing director of OTP Bank’s Electronic Banking Directorat. “The application isn’t only for clients of OTP Bank, anyone can register any of the most popular bank card types. Besides in-store and online payments, clients of OTP Bank can use it for peer-to-peer money send and account balance query. Furthermore, the app can also be used for prepaid card top-up and donation. The service will be expanded with new functions in the future, such as payment with MasterPass at over 30,000 merchants worldwide, as well as payment of OCR-enabled checks and in-app catalog orders.”

Notably in the case of OTPay, the security comes from where the transaction takes place. With merchants never receiving account information, the customer is protected from fraud. A secure server holds half of the account information, while the rest is saved on the end user device. This has been coined as “split-secret” technology.

This European mCommerce solution is a rare mobile payment solution brought to real life use outside of Asia and Africa (regions that have already been embracing mobile money). With the ubiquity of smartphones only growing, and deployments like OTPay being made available and supported by major payment networks like MasterCard (who have also committed to strong authentication standards), it is an exciting time for mobile ID shoppers.

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