Consumers have a say at Cartes

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By eeNews Europe

In a show where the word freedom is only associated with the right to spend, most ideas revolved around faster payment and better user experience to comfort consumers into impulse buying patterns.

Created in 2012, ScanPay had already launched a first application last year, enabling users to scan the details of a credit card by simply holding it in front of their smartphone’s camera, for faster credit card entry into online payment gateways.

Based on the same image processing and optical character recognition principles, French Cofounder and COO Kevin Guieu presented two novel applications that he said will be ready for 2015, ScanFill and ScanCheck.

While ScanFill will have extended image processing capabilities to turn smartphones and tablets into data extractors for all types of documents (utility bills, ID cards or driving licenses to name a few) and speed up online registration, ScanCheck will take this data extraction further and match it with certified databases for a strong authentication of the users, say to open a bank account remotely.

“Registration procedures for loyalty schemes are often too time consuming and can put off consumers”, explained Guieu, “With ScanCheck, you no longer have to scan or copy your documents and send them through the post with your signature, authentication and online registration is all done in a few seconds” he added.

In order to perform the authentication, the company has to access a remote database and find a 100% match. That database is something ScanPay has to build through agreements with utility providers and officially certified ID databases.

“To make sure that the card holder is really who he/she claim to be, and also to prevent a static photo to be presented instead of the real document, we’ll ask users to hold their ID document under the camera in video mode and then to perform a selfie for comparison” told us Guieu.

“Our vision processing algorithms will perform real-time facial matching thanks to the detection of facial movements”.

All applications will be iOS & Android compatible and licensed for shop-owners or banks to integrate them into their web portals (for faster registration and verification).

Fintech-labs’ Director Parinda Kularatne had been developing secure card and banking applications for a number of years before starting up his own company with several of his colleagues in 2012.

“Often, banks miss the consumer bit, their secure portals are not interactive enough and bank accounts typically lack the flexibility that consumers are used to have with their mobile phones applications”, explained Kularatne during a one-to-one interview with eeNews Europe.

The Card Management Module that Fintech-Labs has launched last year (deployed by Metro Bank last summer), allows users to temporarily block and unblock their cards.

So in the case you lose your card, instead of having to call a special number and go through ID verification to block it and wait a week for a new one, only to find out an hour later that you only had misplaced it, you can just select the corresponding card from your smartphone app and block it.

“This is particularly interesting for banks since over 60% of bank cards that are reported lost are in fact only misplaced by the user. So you save time and money on not systematically issuing new cards”, commented Kularatne.

But what’s clever about the Card Management Module is that you can temporarily block all your credit cards to unlock them only during a purchase, or you could geo-fence your spending (based on geolocation data provided by the smartphone) so as to prevent internet frauds from places where you are not present.

The application allows you to momentarily program a lower spending limit, or even better, to get a virtual card number with a one-time use to make card payments in untrusted environments (when you fear data skimming, online or in the real life).

On top of all these options, the application leverages all of the smartphone’s sensors to create unique user behaviour patterns, so in case an unusual form or context of spending is detected, it could alert the user and ask for authorisation. There is some similarity here with Syniverse’s Fraud Management System, one of the finalists for the 2014 Sesames awards in the Trusted Internet / authentication category.

Of course, geolocation goes together with target marketing, a service that Fintech-labs also has up its sleeve, enabling banks to send their customers personalised offers based on time, preference and customer location (and they know how much you can spend).

In a lighter context, truRating’s Founder & CEO Georgina Nelson wants to reconciliate consumers with the online ratings you typically find associated with real products, shops, restaurants, hotels or other services.
Nelson’s idea is that for a service or product rating to be meaningful, it should come from as many consumers as possible, at the moment they pay (and conclude the interaction with your business).

“Typically, 90% of consumers never leave reviews online. Then you have about 9% of them who only write a review when they are either very pleased or very angry. And among those, you’ll find the 1% from which comes the vast majority of online comments and ratings” explained Nelson.

“If you consider online ratings as a democratic way to rate a level of service, sadly they reflect only the opinions of less than 1% of consumers, and you’re not even sure that these don’t come from the suppliers themselves”, she added.

Often, ticking the feedback boxes is too long or does not come at an appropriate time (once you’ve paid, you just want to pack and go). With simple cores question rotated from one customer to the next, truRating offers businesses the chance to get feedback from their customers at the point of sale, right before they enter their PIN code. 

The questions are pulled from a server, depending on the business type, they can also be customised and rating is performed with one click (0 to 9 on the keypad).

As a customer, you only get one question (for example, Service? Value? Products? Atmosphere? Recommend us?), but as a business, you can access the ratings data within a few hours, so you can react to any feedback before there’s an impact on your reputation and bottom line. With mobile POS, this could translate into staff monitoring and trends comparisons from one branch to another.

truRating doesn’t collect any payment details, only the amount spent and the product, basically what’s on the receipt, so there are no security or privacy risks. The service is available to in-store merchants from as little as £15 per month per outlet, with a one-off £50 sign-up fee.

Created two years ago, the startup hopes to establish a strong-enough presence online for consumers to recognize its value and consult its website for meaningful ratings aggregated from thousands of real customers. Nelson won the check.

Visit ScanPay at

Visit Fintech Labs at

Visit TruRating at

Related articles:

Will e-payment become Smartphone-centric?

Smart card payment terminals go mobile

Is NFC there to stick? A report from CARTES


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