The government s push for digital and cashless transactions peaked after demonetization, and led to the rollout of a slew of payments apps one of them being Digi Pay, an Aadhaar-linked payments app, that is currently being used by 22,000 Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) across the country, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced this morning. Also Read - Lost your Aadhaar card? Here's how to download Aadhaar card onlineAlso Read - How to apply for Aadhaar card for your newborn
Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 29, 2017
These VLEs offer a variety of services under the government s Common Services Centres (CSC) scheme to people in rural areas. Till date there are over 2.37 lakh VLEs operational under the CSC ecosystem. They disburse pensions, MGNREGA wages and as well as other incentives through Digi Pay and charge a 10-20 percent commission depending on the amount. ALSO READ: Digital India: UPI-based transactions grew more than 20 times since demonetization
Digi Pay, earlier known as Apna Dhan, has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in association with IndusInd Bank and allows any bank transactions using Aadhar authentication. Cash withdrawals, money transfers, net banking, balance enquiry, point-of-sale payments, etc. can be done through the app. The application will enable CSCs to cater the need of financial services in far-flung and banking deprived areas of the country, reads the government s Digi Pay manual.
Because the system is based on biometric (Aadhaar) authentication of an individual, it eliminates the threat of frauds. Aadhaar will facilitate anytime, anywhere authentication to its beneficiary. The purpose is to achieve inter-operability between banks for Aadhaar-based payment transactions, says the manual. It also allows VLEs to withdraw cash for the customers from their respective Aadhaar-linked bank accounts. ALSO READ: UPI now available offline via USSD-based mobile banking; here s how it works
Overall, the adoption of Aadhaar-based payments apps is gradually increasing despite the prohibitive costs of authentication devices that have to be borne by merchants themselves. More than 20 major banks support Aadhaar-based payments. And more are likely to come on board soon.