FreeCharge trying to free you from the hassles of OTP

Online mobile rechargers, here is some good news for you. Recently FreeCharge, one of the leading e-commerce establishments in India acquired by Snapdeal (8th April 2015), has developed an idea to put an end to the never-ending wait to receive the SMS based One Time Password (OTP). Free charge has developed and filed a patent on the authentication system entitled ‘On The Go Pin’ which is an alternative for the OTP.

The ‘On The Go Pin’ technology uses a pin that resides within the phone and keeps changing every few seconds. The new technology is aimed at making both online as well as offline transactions faster and safer by cutting the delay caused in receiving the OTP through text message. The bank servers and merchants verify the pin to process the transaction in the backend.

According to Govind Rajan, COO of FreeCharge, “this technology would eliminate the wait time, caused by connectivity issues, for both the retailers as well as customers’. This system fulfills the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) mandate for two factor authentication and does not require even a single paisa of additional investment by retailers or customers”.

But the question is how the Indian Patent Office will respond to this technology. As per section 3(k) of Indian Patent Act of 1970, business methods are not patentable in India. Since FreeCharge has filed a patent application with respect to a business method, the patent application is most likely to get rejected by the Indian Patent Office.There are numerous patent applications filed every year but only a few of them actually make it to the grant stage. However, this is a good sign that new age online companies realize the importance of patents and are aiming to file patent applications.Through this patent application FreeCharge has raised the stakes for competitors and e-commerce giants like Flipkart and Paytm, forcing them to not only invest more in R& D but also to file patent applications. Let’s wait and see how the online industry reacts to the FreeCharge ‘On The Go Pin’ technology.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Authored by Blessen Koshy

Contributed with the Support of Automobile and Mechanical Patents Division at BananaIP

For any Mechanical and IP related queries, please write to us at [email protected]

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