Your fingerprint or eye scan may soon be enough to withdraw cash from ATMs. For that, you will require a biometric based Aadhaar number.
In a bid to encourage higher enrollment for unique identification or Aadhaar number, the finance ministry has asked all public sector and rural banks to speed up setting up of biometric cash dispensers.
Unlike the conventional ATMs, where you have to key in your pin number for a debit card, one's fingerprint logs him or her into the bank account. "It is after an online authentication of the finger print from a UIDAI centre," a senior government official said. Once that is done, a person can perform banking transactions like in any other ATMs.
At the first go, the banks have been asked to set up biometric money machines in rural and semi-rural areas, where penetration of banking services is low and online facilities are available.
The move is aimed at making people enroll for Aadhaar numbers, which is very low even in 20 pilot districts where the direct benefit transfer was implemented from January 1, 2013. The ministry has already announced its plan to extend the transfer of benefits directly into bank accounts of people in 43 districts by March.
The dispensing machines to be operated and managed by private players would also help in reducing the burden on banks, where number of accounts would increase manifold because of the direct benefit scheme.
In addition to this, the government has also asked the banks to seek Aadhaar numbers of its customers in a bid to link their account numbers with the number. This, in future, will not only help in transferring money from the government directly into bank accounts using Aadhaar platform, but will have help the government to track people's financial transactions.