The demonetization of old currency notes in November last year offered a much-needed boost to digital payments. To simplify digital payments further, PM Narendra Modi launched BHIM, a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based app in December last year. Now, on the occasion of Dr Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar s 126th birth anniversary, PM Modi launched the new BHIM Aadhaar service in Nagpur. It is a merchant interface of the BHIM app that will allow users to make digital payments using their fingerprint. Also Read - PM Narendra Modi launched the Indian Space AssociationAlso Read - India's CCI must introduce anti-competitive practices for global tech giants, allow Indian businesses to flourish
Among the currently available digital payment modes — BHIM app, Bharat QR and mobile wallets among others — one needs to have a smartphone and an internet connection to make a transaction. There is also USSD-based mobile banking service for feature phones, where you can send and receive money without an internet connection. It is as simple as checking your mobile balance. However, for all these modes of digital payments, you need a mobile phone. This is what BHIM Aadhaar aims to change. ALSO READ: PM Narendra Modi launches BHIM app for mobile payments; here s how it works Also Read - PM Modi launches e-RUPI digital payment solution: What is it? Is it like Bitcoin? and more questions answered
What is BHIM Aadhaar and how does it work?
According to the recent figures released by the government, digital payment transactions increased 23 times since demonetization on November 8 last year. The credit of this can be given to the rise in smartphone and internet usage. But what about those in rural areas who don t have access to smartphones, internet, credit and debit cards? ALSO READ: UPI now available offline via USSD-based mobile banking; here s how it works
With the new BHIM Aadhaar service, any Indian citizen with a bank account and Aadhaar card can make cashless payments. With a tagline that says New India, New Economy, the BHIM Aadhaar app will do away with the need of having a smartphone, internet, and credit/debit cards to make digital payments. ALSO READ: Demonetization: How to get started with UPI apps and go cashless to beat the cash crunch
As of now, 27 major banks are on-board with the platform along with 300,000 merchants who will start accepting payments using the new platform. It will use Aadhaar Payment Bridge and Aadhaar-Enabled Payment System to authenticate the transactions.
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Merchants will need a smartphone and the biometric-enabled device to read the biometric data. And all you need is your 12-digit Aadhaar number and your thumb. So, the next time you go to a nearby general stores, a shopping mall, an electronics store or even to buy milk or vegetables, you don t need to carry your wallet or smartphone. RELATED: UPI and BHIM: Why NPCI needs to kick in, and weed out potential loopholes
To make a transaction, the merchant will need to enter your Aadhaar number in the app, select your bank account, enter the amount and scan your fingerprint on the biometric device. That s it. Now, your fingerprint is your bank, and your identity.