Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched BHIM-Aadhar platform - a biometric-based payment system - in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Already, 27 major banks are on board along with 7.15 lakh merchants who will start accepting payments using Bhim-Aadhaar.
A statement issued by the NITI Aayog said that the BHIM-Adhaar merchant interface would pave the way for making digital payments on the Aadhaar platform using biometric data like thumb imprint on a merchant's biometric enabled device.
As a continuation of Digital India campaign, PM Modi launched a new smartphone based application "BHIM Aadhaar" today.
"It will make digital payments easy for people who can not read or write, thus realising Babasaheb Ambedkar's vision of social and financial empowerment for all", he said.
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BHIM, also known as Bharat Interface for Money, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi three months ago to provide a tool that can be a one-stop solution for all digital payments. He said for every person you introduce to the BHIM app, you will get a cash back of Rs 10.
Electronic payment firms got a big boost when India abolished most of the country's banknotes previous year, but rival state-sponsored e-payment services are forcing them.
"Bhim-Aadhaar is going to be a case study for reputed universities across the globe in the days to come, and will be seen as the foundation for an economic revolution in the world".
The new feature in Bhim will address about 400 million bank account customers spread across the country whose accounts are linked with Aadhaar, said A.P. Hota, managing director and CEO of the National Payments Corporation of India. 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. Privacy experts are also concerned that the government is extending the use of Aadhaar from its orginal objective of identifying beneficiaries for government schemes for the poor, to requiring the Aadhaar number for a variety of other purposes including payment of income tax and the distribution of free mid-day meals to school children.
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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, he said.
Modi visited Deekshabhoomi, the place where Ambedkar embraced Buddhism with his followers on the occasion of Ashok Vijaya Dashami on October 14, 1956.
People who usually exhibit fear of transacting online through third-party apps due to several risks involved can now transfer money through Aadhaar Pay's Government-made secure payment gateway.
Modi will also felicitate the winners of the mega draw of the two major incentive schemes to promote digital payments, - Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digidhan Vyapaar Yojana.
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Awards of Rs 250 crore have been given boost to the less-cash transactions, he said.