The government is coming up with an 'Aadhaar Payment App'that could silence digital payments critics.
The app, to be launched on December 25, would also eliminate the fee payments for service providers like card companies Mastercard or Visa, which has been a stumbling block in merchants switching to digital payments making it affordable to even merchants in remote villages. All that it needs is an Android phone with the merchant.
Merchants need to download the Aadhaar cashless merchant app on their smartphones connected to a biometric reader, which is currently available for Rs 2,000. The customer will then feed their Aadhar number into the app, select the bank through which the transaction will take place and the biometric scan will work as a password for the transaction to be authenticated.
Unique Identification Authority of India CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey says,"This app can be used by a person to make payments without any phone."
Almost 40 crore Aadhaar numbers already stand linked to bank accounts - that is half the adults in India. The aim is to link all Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts by March, 2017
The government, along with the regulator and payments companies, is working to ensure that the objective of making digital payments a reality across the country.
IDFC Bank along with UIDAI and National Payments Corporation of India have developed this app which would be launched at the national level on Sunday. The new technology was shown to finance Minister Arun Jaitley and information and technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on December 19.
Anybody who has Aadhaar seeding done can make payments to merchants with this app. It wouldn't matter if the person does not have a credit or debit card, or even a mobile phone.