New Delhi, Dec 02, 2016 : Aadhaar cardholders would soon be able to use their cards to credit or debit money. The move comes in the wake of the government’s efforts to encourage cashless transactions in the country.
To avail the service, cardholders will have to enter their Aadhaar ID number and go through a fingerprint or iris scanner verification for electronic transaction. Briefing reporters, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said that the biometric authentication capacity of Aadhaar will be increased from the current 10 crore to 40 crore a day.
"We will create capacity for 40 crore authentications. Yesterday, 1.31 crore Aadhaar-enabled biometric authentications were reported," Pandey said, adding that awareness would be created about this service.
He assured that there would be utmost privacy for all Aadhaar-related transactions. The Aadhaar card can be linked with bank accounts and the Aadhaar-Enabled Payment System (AEPS) can be used for funds transfer, balance enquiry, cash debits, credits etc.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that an Android mobile app will be launched soon to enable cashless transactions for Aadhaar cardholders.
He said that the app will be available in the next 15 days, and it would allow cell phones with external or in-built retina and fingerprint scanners to allow the transactions. Cell-phone manufacturers, he said, will be asked to see if mobiles made in India can have in-built iris and thumb identification system.
The government will soon bring in four other options for cashless transactions – Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for GSM phones, e-wallets and Unified Payments Interface for smartphones, and debit, credit and prepaid cards for PoS machines.
He said the government is also working on incentivising cashless transactions and disincentivising cash transactions.
Information Technology Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said that the department is providing an incentive of Rs 100 for every merchant enrolled through over 2 lakh common service centres across India.
On Thursday, the first meeting of the Committee of Chief Ministers to examine and implement the digital payment systems was held. The meeting was organised by NITI Aayog through videoconferencing. The 13- member committee comprises the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Odisha and Sikkim and the CEO and Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog and other experts.
While MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke about a massive education campaign at the grassroots level to popularise digital payments, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis spoke on making cashless instruments more accessible.