Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM-Aadhaar platform—a merchant interface linking the unique identification number to the Bharat Interface for Money mobile application—at Nagpur on the 126th birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. This was done on Friday – 14th April 2017.

The new interface will enable customers to make payments using a merchant’s biometric-enabled device. The merchant merely has to download the BHIM app on his smartphone and link the device to an Aadhaar biometric reader.

PM Modi said – “Like Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar worked to give rights to the common man through the Indian Constitution, one can expect the BHIM app to do similarly great work through the financial system,”

“Any citizen without access to smartphones, Internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM-Aadhaar platform,” a government statement said.

A customer has to first link his bank account to his Aadhaar number. To make a payment, all he has to do is select the bank’s name and enter the Aadhaar number. His fingerprint will serve as the password to authenticate the transaction. To start with, no transaction fee will be levied on either the merchants or customers to encourage adoption of the new digital payment service, especially in small towns and rural India.

The government statement said 27 major banks had already tied up with 300,000 merchants for accepting payments using BHIM-Aadhaar. It went on to add that all public sector banks have been instructed to go live with Aadhaar Pay.

PM Modi announced two new incentive schemes for the BHIM app—cashback (for merchants) and referral bonus (for customers). The schemes will start from 14 April and end on 14 October, he added.

Under the referral bonus scheme, an individual will earn Rs 10 for every new referral made—i.e., educating another person or merchant about the BHIM app and ensuring that they carry out three transactions using the same.

Three new languages—Punjabi, Marathi and Assamese—have gone live on the app.

According to Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union minister for electronics and information technology, 20 million people have downloaded BHIM so far, and payments worth Rs 823 crore have been made, since the launch date of app – 30 December 2016.

 

Source: Various media sources