On the occasion of 126th birth anniversary of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM Aadhaar −a digital payment platform −and declared about 75 townships to go less-cash.
The BHIM-Aadhaar authenticates a customer’s biometric details linked to his Aadhaar account through fingerprint scanner thus eradicating the need to remember banking details such as PINs.
Any citizen without access to smart phones, internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM Aadhaar platform. Already, 27 major banks are now on board with 7.15 lakh merchants so that they can start accepting payments using BHIM Aadhaar.
The Prime Minister also launched two new incentive schemes for the BHIM – Cash back and Referral bonus – with an outlay of Rs. 495 crore for a period of six months.
Under the Referral bonus scheme both existing users who refers BHIM, and the new user who adopts BHIM, would get a cash bonus credited directly to their account. Under the Cashback scheme, the merchants will get cash back on every transaction using BHIM. Both schemes are to be administered by MEITY and implemented by NPCI.
In just four months, by March this year, volume of payments using various digital payment modes saw an increase of about 23 times amounting with 63,80,000 digital transactions for a value of Rs 2425 crore.
In order to achieve the target of 2500 crore digital transactions during the current financial year, the Prime Minister will also announce about 75 townships spread all over India as ‘less-cash townships’.
A less-cash township is one where the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure is complete, and all the families in the township are covered under training programs, Bureaucracy Today has learnt.
The townships selected for the launch have been subjected to independent third party assessment by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and only those townships which have reported more than 80 percent of the total number of transactions in the township being done through digital modes of payments during the review period are included in this list.