The government is set on launching an ‘Aadhaar Payment App’ on December 25 to do away with plastic card and the point of sales machine (POS) that seem to have done little in times of demonetisation, reports Economic Times.
The move is designed so that plastic cards can be done away with, and fee payments to Visa or MasterCard, who are service providers of these cards, can be eliminated. This will ensure that even merchants in remote villages can afford to make the transition to digital payments.
As per the source, merchants would need to download the Aadhaar Cashless merchant app and connect to a biometric reader, one that is currently on sale for Rs 2,000.
All the customer needs to do is feed in his or her Aadhaar number into the app and select the bank for the transaction. The customer can then use the scanner to identify the customer and authenticate the transaction. Indeed this eliminates the need for One Time Passwords (OTPs), PINs and much more that are a common requirement for plastic or digital transaction these days.
“This app can be used by a person to make payments without any phone,” Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told ET. “Almost 40 crore Aadhaar numbers already stand linked to bank accounts – that is half the adults in India. The aim is to link all Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts by March, 2017.”
The app has been developed by IDFC Bank along with UIDAI and National Payments Corporation of India. The new technology was shown to finance Minister Arun Jaitley and information and technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on December 19.
“The settlement is done through the Aadhaar bridge, which means it connects a much wider set of people,” said Rajiv Lall, MD & CEO at IDFC Bank. “Anybody who has Aadhaar seeding done can make payments to merchants with this app. It wouldn’t matter if the person does not have a credit or debit card, or even a mobile phone. The acceptance of point of sale terminals in the country has been slow with only 15 lakh terminals deployed by various banks.”
SBI alone has deployed over 3 lakh terminals followed by HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank.