PayMate – SMS Based Mobile Payment Service in India

PayMate is an SMS based payment service, which allows you to use your mobile phone as your credit or debit card. That is, Paymate is an m-commerce service. PayMate helps you to make easy and secure payments online, over the phone SMS, across the counter or from just about anywhere.

You can use this service at any of PayMate’s accredited merchants. PayMate currently has over 2,500 online portals as registered merchants. You will be able to buy movie & flight tickets, send flowers & gifts, pay for your bills & subscriptions & even pay at your favorite restaurant or retail store, simply through your mobile.

All you need to have is a mobile phone and a credit or debit card account with one of our partner banks. Currently only for Citibank customers, hope other leading banks will soon offer PayMate.

You don’t need to open any account with PayMate, your mobile is linked securely to your existing bank account (credit or debit) and that’s where all your payments will be debited. Payments happen instantly from anywhere within a few seconds. The transaction will be listed in your bank’s monthly statement.

PayMate works on even the most basic phone (GSM or CDMA) and does not require any special tariff plan or mobile operator registration. PayMate works with any phone or mobile operator. That is, PayMate is an SMS based service which makes it extremely simple and cost effective. PayMate is completely free service offered via your bank. There are no registration or annual charges whatsoever. Just the cost of a SMS every time you make a payment (Average Rs 2).

You register for PayMate with your bank but this process is paperless and over the phone. To register for PayMate you can call your bank’s phone banking number directly or register on your banks website or enter your mobile number and bank name on PayMate’s secure website to have your bank call you back to complete the verification process or simply SMS PayMate to 2484 and your bank will call you back within 24 hrs. Note that, only CitiBank supports PayMate at this time. Once your bank completes the phone verification, you will receive the PIN via SMS within 48 hrs.

Is PayMate secure?

When using Paymate you never need to reveal your credit or debit card details, expiry date, CVV number etc to anyone. Every transaction has to be authorized by your 4-digit PIN which is known only to you. The PIN needs to be sent from your very mobile number and not some other thereby ensuring that you are the one authorizing the transaction. Every transaction also has a different 3 alphabet code (or Alpha Code) which is hard coded in the SMS and authenticated by the user. This is an added layer of security apart from your PIN. After every transaction delete the message from the sent items and do not store your PIN in your mobile. Also, just incase you lose your mobile, the first thing you would do is call your operator and get the SIM deactivated. Once this is done, the phone is not capable of making payments in any case.

Kingfisher airlines recently partnered with PayMate for SMS-based ticketing service, called The FlyBuySms service. The first step for a customer using the service is to search for tickets by sending an SMS in the format ‘KING ’ to 5667711. Details of all Kingfisher Airlines flights on the sector, with departure time and best available fares, will be received.

For bookings, the customer will have to reply to the SMS with the preferred flight option and guests’ name. After selecting the flight details, the customer can buy the ticket by authorising payment via SMS with his PayMate PIN. Non-PayMate users can pay with their credit card through an automatic IVR (Interactive Voice Response) callback. The customer will get a confirmation of booking details via SMS.

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