As the world undergoes what is referred to as its ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, technological advancements are fundamentally altering the way humans lead their lives. From waking up to the sound of our morning alarms to ordering that one midnight snack before we head to sleep, new-age technologies are simplifying and improving the efficiency of all our activities and their management.
However, while the ways in which digitisation benefits us are clear and ubiquitous, are we gradually drifting away from being ‘human’ in our bid to keep going digital?
If you ask anyone what their perception of the terms ‘digital’ and ‘humanised’ is, chances are that they might hint on this functioning at opposite ends. But that is far from true. In fact, keeping the ‘human’ element intact has become all the more important for each industry domain and its segments, in this increasingly digital day and age.
Yet, it has been observed how most of the industries, in their pursuit to make experiences seamless, have been compromising with the human element. The financial services industry stands as no exception to this. In fact, the need to focus on instant gratifications, easy payment methods, minimal efforts, seamless engagement—essentially, a superior experience that would completely blend in the busy lifestyles of today has become an imperative. And amidst all of these advancements, it remains just as important to retain the human element in all these processes.
It is an undeniable fact that new-age technological interventions like AI, ML etc. have made significant developments in personalising customer experience when it comes to digital transactions. Post the demonetisation drive and furthering of the government’s vision of a ‘cashless economy’, digital payments in India have witnessed a radical boost both in terms of adoption as well as innovations.
These payments have not only succeeded in facilitating availability and convenience, but are also securer, effortlessly traceable, and seamlessly integrated into other software frameworks. Alternate digital payments instruments such as digital wallets, the widely-embraced UPI, Bharat QR etc. now play a highly instrumental role in enabling daily person-to-merchant ‘micro-transactions’, thus leading to this phenomenal adoption of this mode.
Armed with such developments, the digital payments industry in India is projected to touch the USD 500bn mark by 2020 and contribute a significant 15% of the country’s GDP, according to a Google India and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study.
However, in spite of scripting such an exemplary growth story in such a short time, the current digital payments mechanism in India can still not cater to all user-cases and eventualities. In order to truly penetrate and humanize digital payments, a ‘sound’ solution is needed.
Leveraging The Basic-Most Form Of Communication: Sound
The medium of sound and its use in any form of data transmission is not a new phenomenon. It is, in fact, a well-established fact that sound is the most effective and convenient form of communication. Regardless of it being in one’s audible range or not, all forms of communication between the various species take place using sound waves of some kind.
From radios to dial-up modems, the sound has been a part of key technological advancements that have taken place in the past. And in the present context, soundwave technology has the potential to play a highly instrumental role in the digital payments ecosystem.
Soundwave technology can not only simplify processes and bring about greater security but also humanise the entire payments experience. This is because sound is the closest that we can get to the perfect mode of communication, and the entire realm of digital payments revolve around some form of data communications.
This technology can thus facilitate seamless payments at the speed of sound even in the absence of the basic infrastructure that every other form of digital payments needs—a smart device and an internet connection. Upon leveraging sound-enabled technologies, one does not need any hardware to initiate or complete the payment. Because of all these factors, soundwave technology has the potential to be of mass appeal in the near future.
Making Consumers The Priority Again
Digital payments incepted out of the need for a more convenient and transparent mode of transaction and while these tech-led processes have been a respite for many, the market is still struggling with some challenges. For instance, the present landscape in the digital payments ecosystem indicates how it has become more fragmented and cluttered, with further sub-segments and layered processes.
All of this is eventually resulting in a loss of transparency, thereby defeating the very purpose.
Amidst this scenario, soundwave technology has emerged as one of the most effective solutions, addressing these challenges while re-establishing faith among consumers. This is because sound is the clearest and most transparent mode of communication, and data transmitted over sound comes with minimal limitations.
Moreover, while the present trend in the payments market signifies how most of the existing technologies are prioritising processes to make those faster, soundwave technology is gradually bringing the focus back on consumers. For instance, with most of the players in the digital payments space taking physical interaction away from the processes, merchants and customers are drifting farther from each-other.
Nowadays, merchants and their customers barely interact when carrying out a transaction. No feedbacks are conveyed, no credibility is formed. In such a scenario, soundwave technology is bringing back the human warmth without compromising on the technology aspect.
The applications of soundwave technology are vast and can cater to loads of possibilities and use-cases. For instance, sound is helping re-establish the relationship between a merchant and a consumer while simultaneously ensuring an efficient, effective, and engaging experience at both ends.
Further, soundwave technology has the potential to address the biggest concern haunting the digital payments ecosystem—data security. Since each tone is unique and is not prone to getting mixed up with any other tone or noises in the background, this ensures maximum security while enabling a seamless and humanized consumer experience.
Essentially, by enabling easily accessible, instantaneous, transparent, real-time traceable, effortless, engaging, cost-effective, and secure transactions, soundwave technology has humanized the entire consumer journey while delivering an augmented experience at all ends. This is why soundwave technology has emerged as one of the most effective bridges of technological wonders and a human touch, especially in the world of payments, in this increasingly digital age.