Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM-Aadhaar (a digital payment platform that uses the Aadhaar number) in Nagpur on Friday on the occasion of the 126th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, and hoped that the digital platform would be an "economic giant" like the Constitution, through which Dr. Ambedkar empowered the common man. This will enable farmers to transact using their Aadhaar number and biometric authentication to make purchases for fertilisers. She had made a transaction of Rs 1,590 through her RuPay card to pay an EMI for her new mobile phone.
To verify the payment, the customer would require scanning his/her fingerprint that will be compared against the Aadhaar card data, and the payment will be completed.
BHIM, which competes with privately-owned digital wallets, including Paytm and MobiKwik, has been built on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) - a platform that is linked to the user's bank account directly and does not store money, unlike other wallets. "Back end is being handled by Aadhaar, so why should customers pay?"
The acceptability of digital payments has also been very poor among the merchants in the country.
The prime minister announced two new incentive schemes, BHIM cashback and referral bonus schemes.
"Deekshabhoomi is a sacred Buddhist monument where Ambedkar had converted to Buddhism on the occasion of Ashok Vijaya Dashami on October 14, 1956".
The minister said that the launch of the "BHIM-Aadhaar Pay" app will boost transparency and honesty in payment of income tax.
Modi also launched a cashback and referral initiative for the BHIM app to encourage more people to use the service.More news: Russian Federation vetoes United Nations draft resolution on Syria gas attack probe
"A series of development projects are going to be inaugurated in Nagpur, which will have a positive impact on people's lives", PM Modi had said in another tweet yesterday.
"'DigiDhan" is a "Safai Abhiyaan' to free the nation from corruption and black money", Modi stated.
The Referral Bonus scheme will incentivize existing BHIM users for bringing new users on the BHIM platform and encouraging the new users to do transactions with others using BHIM or by referring new users on BHIM.
The new feature in Bhim will address about 400 million bank account customers spread across the country whose accounts are linked with Aadhaar, said A.P. Hota, managing director and CEO of the National Payments Corporation of India.
Based on a biometric platform, any Aadhaar card holder can now pay to any merchant using his thumb impressions. This app will relieve merchants of purchasing POS machines and receive payments through a complex method.
Modi will also felicitate the winners of the mega draw of the two major incentive schemes to promote digital payments, - Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digidhan Vyapaar Yojana.
The Modi government is aiming at 25 billion digital transactions during the current financial year running through March 31, 2018.