Nagpur (Maharashtra), April 14 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the BHIM-Aadhaar digital payments platform can revolutionise the Indian economy.
By enabling each Indian to pay digitally using their biometric data on a merchant’s biometric-enabled device, the BHIM-Aadhaar will be like a SmartPhone with a biometric reader, he said.
Launching the platform here, Modi said it would boost digital payments in a manner unprecedented anywhere in the world and would be a step towards a “less-cash” economy and combating the black money menace.
Modi said the BHIM-Aadhaar Pay app would play the same role of empowering the common Indian as the Constitution of India, framed by Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, whose 126th birth anniversary is being celebrated across the country on Friday.
The new app will enable payments with just a ‘thumb’ impression, which can be used by even an illiterate person to pay digitally with his/her biometric data on a merchant’s biometric-enabled device.
“Any citizen without access to SmartPhone, Internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM-Aadhaar platform,” Modi said.
“It will make digital payments easy for people who cannot read or write, thus realising Babasaheb Ambedkar’s vision of social and financial empowerment for all,” he said.
Modi launched two new incentive schemes for the BHIM-Cashback and Referral Bonus with an outlay of Rs 495 crore for a six-month period to ensure digital payments culture permeates down to the grassroots.
Under the Referral Bonus Scheme, both the existing user who refers BHIM and the new user who adopts it would get a cash bonus of Rs 10 credited directly to their accounts.
Similarly, under the Cashback scheme, the merchants will get a cashback of Rs 25 on every transaction using BHIM.
Both schemes shall be administered by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) and implemented by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
Besides, 27 major banks are now on board with three lakh merchants so that they can start accepting payments using BHIM-Aadhaar.
These include Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, City Union Bank (Issuer), Corporation Bank, Dena Bank, Federal Bank (ONUS).
Besides, the HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDFC Bank, Indian Bank, IndusInd Bank (Acquirer), Indian Overseas Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, State Bank of India also have accepted BHIM-Aadhaar.
Other banks are the South Indian Bank (Issuer), Syndicate Bank, UCO Bank, Union Bank of India, United Bank of India and Vijaya Bank.
The Regional Rural Banks (all issuers) include: Kerala Gramin Bank and Pragathi Krishna Gramin Bank sponsored by Canara Bank, Chaitanya Godavari Gramin Bank sponsored by Andhra Bank, Baroda Gujarat Gramin Bank sponsored by Bank of Baroda, Andhra Pradesh Gramin Vikas Bank sponsored by State Bank of India.
Shortly after the Prime Minister’s announcement, NPCI CEO and Managing Director A.P. Hota announced in Mumbai the launch of the BHIM-Aadhaar app which can be downloaded from Google Playstore and iOS as an updated version 1.3, in 12 Indian languages.
It will cater to around 40 crore account holders whose Aadhaar card details are linked with their bank accounts and would require only the customer’s finger-print for authentication, Hota said.
The BHIM App, launched in December 2016 has created a new world record with 1.90 crore downloads in just four months enabling an unprecedented increase in number of transactions made using several user-friendly digital payments methods.
Till November 2016, the volume of all digital transactions was 280,000 or worth Rs 101 crore, which zoomed 23 times to 6,380,000 digital transactions valued at Rs 2,425 crore.
Similarly, Aadhaar Enabled Payments have doubled from 2.5 crore in November 2016 to over five crore in March 2017, and Immediate Payment Service transactions jumped from 3.6 crore to 6.7 crore during the same period.