Principal Architect, Ezetap Mobile Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Building a disruptive hardware product that meets global standards is a challenge, with respect to time and cost – especially for a start up like Ezetap with limited resources and lack of access to regulatory labs.
Our vision to build the sleekest EMV contactless mPOS in class should come as no surprise – Ezetap has been leading the way for Indian innovation in the digital payments space in the recent years. The main motivation behind building the indigenous Duo 3 is to offer the latest, most affordable solution to customers. The product costs just $39 to produce thus enabling even small merchants to opt for digital payment acceptance, without major investments.
Our previous mPOS device, Ezetap Duo (EMV Chip and PIN), has influenced users and established a concrete usage experience. Hence it is only natural for the new product also to keep same design language like the predecessor product, keeping the MSR (magnetic stripe reader) on top and EMV chip card slot on side.
An enhanced UX with the help of a large display, keypad haptic feedback, EMV contactless support, latest security certification and sleek design make it unique and authentic. Moreover, the traditional audio jack has been discontinued; Duo 3 doesn’t need to be hooked on to the phone and can be comfortably held in the palm of your hand.
Starting from our founders to young engineers, we have proven expertise in EMV solutions. With strong Fintech domain competence, it is our passion to create homegrown solutions, which has led us down the path of building our own product. Additionally, having complete control on design and production, offers flexibility in customizing solutions for various segments of customers.
Designing something that is simultaneously compact, low cost and powerful without compromising performance is a true engineering art. The founders’ vision to offer the sleekest product and achieve highest performance has resulted in this masterpiece.
Road-bumps Along the Way
In 2015, product design had reached a final stage with the best available capacitive touch keypad technology to achieve the highest possible security standards. This was at the time when PCI announced a regulatory standard that recommended designs to migrate to PTS 4.0, which led to the complete redesign of our product.
“Migration to PTS 4.0 almost killed us” – Bhaktha Keshavachar (Co-Founder & CTO, Ezetap).
In the initial stage, product was never intended for EMV contactless feature. Adapting this feature offered an immense learning opportunity to the team. Magnetic fields have never liked working together with capacitive touch electrodes and MSR head. And we were not sure what antenna would work for the application. The knowledge gained from a series of travels to EMV labs across the globe and in-depth research on magnetic fields experiments with various components demanded one more redesign cycle. For each design cycle, our complex 10-layer board with DFM challenges could not be produced within eight weeks. Additionally, we had to be ready to handle any issues from the vendor’s side.
Despite being a startup and facing a dearth of essential technical lab equipment, we were able to achieve both PTS and first time EMV Contactless certification. Seeing this sleek platform come together was an amazing experience.
Piecing together the 3D Jigsaw puzzle
A sleek product itself poses its own challenges on product performance: placing an MSR head, NFC antenna, cap-sense electrodes and two batteries all together in a sleek product body, is like letting naughty kids in room and expecting consensus. This was combined art of mechanical, electrical, firmware and compliance engineering together.
Ezetap’s Duo 3 is the slimmest EMV Contactless certified and sleekest device available on the market.
Advantage of owning EMV kernels
Our predecessor product offered proven EMV kernels to the new generation product. Though we could purchase them externally, we decided to use our own kernels which offered complete flexibility end to end. The complexity of contactless kernels and individual certification for each kernel is an integral component of the product development cycle.
In-house application development enhanced product performance with intellectual algorithms and helped in elevating the power optimization, performance, integrity and security of the product to higher than industry standards.
As the architect of the product, I got the immense opportunity to learn about, develop and deliver this masterpiece. The start-up culture at Ezetap, along with its wonderful working environment and freedom, enabled me to come-up with new ideas and BIW (Best In World) solutions to take on challenges.
Special thanks to all our partners and suppliers (Freescale, NXP, TI, Microchip, Toshiba, Panasonic, UL, FIME, ABD and many more) for their extended support and co-operation to achieve new products time and again.
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