Apr 13, 2017

Modi to launch BHIM-Aadhaar digital payments platform on Friday

BYPankaj Mishra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the BHIM-Aadhaar digital payments platform on the occasion of the 126th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar in Nagpur on Friday.
BHIM-Aadhaar is the merchant interface of the BHIM App. It will allow people to make digital payments using their biometric data on a merchant’s biometric-enabled device designed like a SmartPhone with a biometric reader.
Any Indian without access to smartphones, internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through this platform.
Already, 27 major banks are on board this platform with 300,000 merchants to start accepting digital payments.
Modi will launch two new incentive schemes for the BHIM-Cashback and Referral Bonus with an outlay of Rs 495 crore for a six-month period in a bid to take digital payments to the grassroots. Under the Referral Bonus Scheme, both the existing user who refers BHIM and the new user who adopts it will get a cash bonus credited directly in their accounts. Under the Cashback scheme, the merchants will get a cashback on every transaction using BHIM.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that these schemes — to be administered by MEITY and implemented by the NPCI — will provide a major impetus to digital payments in India.
Notching over 1.9 crore downloads in the past four months, the BHIM App has created a world record besides causing a rise in the number of digital transactions. Till November 2016, the number of all digital transactions was 280,000 worth Rs 101 crore, which increased 23 times to 6,380,000 transactions valued at Rs 2,425 crore.
Similarly, Aadhaar Enable 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 to 6.7 crore during the same period.
With a view of achieving 2,500 crore digital transactions during the current fiscal, Modi will announce about 75 townships across as ‘less-cash townships’. A ‘less-cash township’ is one where the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure is complete and all the families are covered under training programs.
These townships have been assessed independently by PWC and only those with more than 80% of the total number of transactions conducted through digital modes during the review period have been selected. They are likely to generate over 1.50-lakh digital transactions daily, or around 5.50 crore per annum.
The two incentive schemes — Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana — ended after a rigorous 100-day campaign by NITI Aayog with Rs 258 crores being won as prizes by 1.6 million winners.
The 100-day campaign in 100 cities saw over 15,000 institutions going cashless in 27 states and seven union territories and lakhs of people opening new bank accounts and getting new Aadhaar Cards.

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Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.