I’m pretty sure that many of us might have said the sentence “ek rupee mein aajkal kuch nahi milta” (You don’t get anything for one rupees in today’s time) by at least thousand times now. While the words might be true for the physical world but there’s still a lot that can be bought from that one rupee in the virtual world.
The only problem that arises here is the mountains of hurdles that one has to pass in order to make that teeny tiny one rupee transaction.
Micropayments have now become a common feature of the digital world but the transaction hurdle and a lot of other problems like transaction speed etc. having been playing spoilt sports to the virtual party for quite a long time now.
Providing solution to this problem and giving the virtual customers the boon of Micropayments is Juno Platform from Juno Tele. The Juno Platform acts like a hub connecting the service provider on the one end and the operator on the other, that too all in real time.
Users may be wary of using credit cards or Internet to buy digital goods, but JunoTele lets people pay through their mobile talk time
Founded in 2011 by Sekhar Rao along with Krishna Tammireddy and Jana Balasubramamiam, JunoTele is a start-up headquartered in Singapore and operating out of Bangalore and its patented technology Juno Platform sits between the switch and the intelligent network in the telecom operator’s back-end and becomes a hub that connects with the operator on the one end and the service provider on the other, all in real time.
Sekhar Rao, CEO, JunoTele, stumbled on the idea for the platform while working for a Luxembourg based clearing and settlement house for telecom companies.
The four-year-old startup operating out of Bangalore aims to play the same role that a visa plays between merchants and the banks but, in their case between the telecom operators and the end customers.
The platforms even proves to be beneficial for the telecom operators as it improves their revenue by providing seamless transactions without any delays in real time.
“Most online content companies now depend on either advertisements or subscriptions (due to lag in billing). We offer them an additional revenue stream through on-demand billing,” said Rao in a statement to Business Today.
The complexity involved in the functioning of value added services has made it impossible for operators to track their usage and bill the users only for the amount of information, data availed by them. But, Juno Platform has changed this completely. The company has done this by digital sacheting for content in a way similar to what Cavin Kare did in shampoos.
According to Jana Balasubramaniam, director and co-founder, Juno, “Our charging solution based on patented signalling technology is platform, device and technology agnostic.” This helps make a lot of difference. He further adds, “The online game Candy Crush makes a million dollars a day. Suppose you want to move up a level by paying but have no signal at home, though your Wi-Fi connection is working. In such a case, the carrier cannot authenticate you and enable the purchase. That means lost revenue for developers of Candy Crush. But our technology can authenticate the transaction over a Wi-Fi network too. This is possible even offline. We believe we are the only one in the world who can do this.”
The platform currently runs on a revenue sharing model and has raised $3 million from its angel investors so far. In order cut down on its capital expenditure cost, the company has designed its own hardware.
The platform has tied up with several telecom operators in India, including the prominent three, Airtel, Idea and Vodafone.
The platform’s future plans includes operating in a market Size of $50 billion and taking the current billable customer base from 150 million to three billion.
Innovation in the payments space is likely to continue. Alternative payments as a group are forecast to account for close to 60% of the total online transaction value by 2017 – up from 43% in 2012.