October 21, 2014
Mobile payments startup Sign2Pay has come up as a new challenger in the mobile commerce space. It is implementing mobile payments by using your actual signature. Some unique identifiers in the user’s personal signature are used to authorize a transaction. This new payment method was developed by Belgian Telenet with the help of the Idea Labs accelerator program. The company officially launched the new payment method at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in London.
Sign2Pay wants to simplify the mobile shopping experience by doing away with bank card readers. It has incorporated support for accounts of more than 3,700 European banks. The system is ready to handle more than 500 million European accounts. Users can use any touch enabled device to pay for online orders using a bank account number and personal signature.
Sign2Pay’s digital signature processing platform analyses over a thousand data points in a single signature. It offers security at a level at par with biometric authentication and outweighs traditional methods like passwords and PIN codes. The best part about it is that it does not require any additional hardware. The algorithm running behind the system uses various factors for analyzing signatures. Some of them include writing speed and stroke count.
Sign2Pay, being hardware agnostic, relies on other factors such as how the power of the device and whether the connected network is fast enough to support real-time signature processing. This could mean that older generation touchscreen phones running on the Edge network might not be adequate to use it.
Sign2Pay currently focuses on debit card payments only. Credit cards are usually accompanied with consumer protection schemes. Sign2Pay is also providing such schemes so that its customers don’t miss out because of its current debit card focus. It offers users an eight week refund period if transactions fail. Sign2Pay also employs risk mitigation methods to assess users who sign-up for its service. Its algorithms assess users based on device type, location of buyer as well as merchant, size of transactions and many other factors.
Merchants who wish to accept this payment method simply need to register on the company’s website. Sign2Pay also has built-in integration with many online publishing and e-commerce platforms. This would help merchants gain more sales conversion along with getting better fraud protection. Sign2Pay charges merchants a per transaction fee which is lower than that of PayPal and credit card
Nicolas Mertens, the founder of Sign2Pay, points out that mobile commerce suffers from conversion rates. The conversion rate on smartphones is 60% lower than that of desktops. For tablets, it is 30% lower than desktops. But tablets and smartphones account for almost 40% of the traffic.
With real-time signature analysis, Sign2Pay is hoping to make a mark in the mobile payments space and achieve a global reach for its authentication system.
Here is an illustration of how it works: