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By Yeldi on May 4, 2017

How Yeldi used NFC technology to launch a successful business model


You might have noticed more and more businesses getting into the Fin-Tech digital space either through mobile wallets or digital cards or now the latest entrant being mobile banks which require zero paperwork and no visit to the physical bank too. In November of 2016 when the Indian Government announced cashless transactions and digitisation of the Indian economy, almost every citizen irrespective of their financial status was forced into evaluating the way they transacted - from small purchases to large investments. While as individuals the progress was happening in leaps and bounds, support was required from companies to make the whole process smoother. While some businesses saw it as a lucrative space to be in, others felt it made good commerce sense and a few others got into it as they had no choice because the public was demanding it.

Yeldi - Go Cashless

Yeldi Softcom however, has been a pioneer in having the foresight to recognise a need for the country to move in this direction. It got into the digital space well before anybody else. As early as 2012, they released ARA-etap which was an NFC based phone that could be used to make payments. Yeldi believed that NFC technology could bring a revolution in the cashless payment ecosystem. ARA-etap was presented to Google in one of their symposiums. Google was very impressed and validated the fact that Yeldi’s research and product development was on the right track.

While NFC technology can be convenient from a B2B perspective (as it is versatile enough to be adapted across multiple sectors), to a customer, all this will mean nothing if not broken down into a form of convenience. Eventually Yeldi’s business model bloomed into a sleeker, smooth functioning m-wallet called ‘Yeldi Folks’ - a next gen NFC card that could be used to just tap and pay to buy merchandise. A physical card made it easy for people of all generations to use irrespective of having a smart phone or an internet connection. Security was also taken care off as each transaction would have it’s own unique key code making it difficult for hackers to intercept & transmit personal finance details. The Q buster payment model was applied doing away with long queues as each payment transaction was taking less than 40 seconds. Long queues at airports and stores was quickly becoming a thing of the past. Senior citizens, who generally are most concerned about new technology and take time to get onboard, also applauded this move. The youth of the country found it cool to own a bit of new technology which was just entering the country - tapping and paying. Retailers who had shifted over to this technology were relieved as they were getting real time updates for their business sales.

Having conquered key touch points, Yeldi wanted more. They wanted to make a difference. They decided to convert the drawbacks of NFC into success stories which would not only benefit the people but also society as a whole. One of the biggest downsides was that this technology was just catching up and while it was easier for the big players to be on board, it was the small stores that got left behind in the rat race. After extensive market research it was found that middle class people especially home makers still preferred and were comfortable going to small stores to purchase crucial day to day items. Unfortunately with cashless transactions coming in and access to lower denomination notes becoming almost non-existent, the survival of these grass-root stores was also at stake. Yeldi decided to make these stores its target group and strived to bring them on board. It was a win-win situation as it not only helped the store owners but also kept the consumer ecosystem alive.

Another disadvantage with mobile NFC technology was that if the phone was lost or stolen, all the crucial data stored on it could be vulnerable in the wrong hands. To avoid this, Yeldi worked with intercept NFC card/Tag models where the information was stored only at the backend. The card/tag only facilitated authorisation and customer identification. Loss of card/tag did not mean access to funds and accounts as it came with 2 layer authorisations like a customer PIN number. In addition the card could be blocked instantly on loss to avoid any mishaps.

Less than quarter of our population owning smart phones or cards with NFC technology, wasn’t incentive enough for businesses to readily incorporate the new technology. Some B2B companies also found it expensive to invest in the initial infrastructure & technology. Yeldi decided to have tie ups and alliances with these companies. Being an end to end NFC ecosystem provider wherein the hardware, software, switch and license could be offered as a one stop solution to clients, the offering could cater to semi-medium, medium as well as large enterprises. Investment for the ecosystem would be cost effective and there would be minimum third party involvement making it convenient for the client too. More and more businesses wanted to participate and adapt to global business dynamics with the versatility of Yeldi NFC ecosystem. Businesses could take what they wanted and offer it as a small scale or large scale solution to their end customers.

All in all, Yeldi paved the way for showing how the drawbacks of any technology needn’t be a hindrance but when used strategically, it can catapult you into greatness.

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