Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally launch an Aadhaar-based mobile app platform for traders along with two incentive schemes on April 14, to push Indians towards a “less-cash” economy and curb black money generation.
Developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the Aadhaar-linked Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) mobile app is based on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and will be launched on the 126th birth anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, a PMO release said.
After the November 8 announcement to scrap Rs 15.44 lakh crore of high value notes, the Modi government has rolled out scheme after scheme to dissuade Indians from dealing in cash and switching to digital transactions.
In December 2016, Modi launched the BHIM app for facilitating electronic payments by consumers. In March, the government launched Aadhaar Pay, a new Android-based smartphone app.
On Thursday, the PMO said Modi will launch several crucial initiatives to further the digital payments revolution in India on April 14, including the BHIM Aadhaar platform for merchants, cash back and referral bonus schemes for BHIM and declaring about 75 townships going less-cash.
The BHIM-Aadhaar app will pave the way for making digital payments by using the Aadhaar platform. This will enable every Indian citizen to pay digitally using their biometric data like their thumb imprint on a merchants’ biometric enabled device which could be smartphone having a biometric reader.
“Any citizen without access to smartphones, internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM Aadhaar platform,” the PMO said.
Already, 27 major banks are now on board with three lakh merchants to facilitate payments using the BHIM Aadhaar app.
Further, the Prime Minister will launch two new incentive schemes for the BHIM – Cashback and Referral bonus – with an outlay of Rs 495 crore for a period of six months.
The PM will also felicitate the winners of the mega draw of the two major incentive schemes to promote digital payments--the Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapaar Yojana.
“These initiatives would further promote the digital movement that the country embarked upon and reinforce the vision of Baba Saheb for social empowerment of all through financial inclusion,” the PMO said.
CEO NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant said that the launch of BHIM-Aadhaar App and the launch of the two schemes – Cash back and referral schemes by the Prime Minister will provide a major impetus to the digital payment revolution in India.
BHIM App has already created a new world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads in just four months since its launch in December, 2016. India has also seen an unprecedented increase in number of transactions made using several user-friendly digital payment methods.
Until November 2016, the volume of all digital transactions was 2,80,000 which amounted to Rs 101 crore in value terms. By March, the volume of payments using various digital payment modes saw an increase of about 23 times amounting with 63,80,000 digital transactions for a value of Rs 2,425 crore.