Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches BhimAadhaar, an application for merchants

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a busy day with a number of major announcements in Nagpur, on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti. The final winners in the Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana were announced, and the schemes to promote the adoption of cashless transactions came to an end. Finally, the Aadhaar Pay app for merchants was launched, known as BhimAadhaar.

In the consumer category, three lucky winners won prizes of Rs 1 crore, Rs 50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh for making electronic payments of less than Rs 1,000. In the merchant category, prizes of Rs 50 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 12 lakh were announced. The schemes have been running from December 2016. The Prime Minister also asked the youth of the nation to help push India towards a less cash economy.

The Aadhaar pay for merchants app was initially scheduled for a December launch, but there have been delays as the Government took every effort to make sure that the devices used for biometric authentication met standards prescribed by the government, and were adequately secured according to the latest security standards.

The Aadhaar Pay for merchants has been launched as applications by private banks, with more banks committing to implementing it soon. IDFC bank first introduced the app as a pilot shop for fair price shops in Andhra Pradesh.

There are no transaction fees for using BhimAadhaar

Aimed mostly at rural regions, the BhimAadhaar allows customers to make purchases at shops through electronic transactions without having to use plastic cards or mobile phones. The payments are authenticated through a biometric scanner, with the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System implemented. The fingerprint scanner costs about Rs 2,000 for the merchant.

Image: IDFC

Image: IDFC

Rajiv Lall, Founder MD & CEO, IDFC Bank, had commented on the app during the launch, “It is, thus far, the simplest way to pay as it does not require a customer to swipe debit cards, remember passwords, or download apps. Importantly, there are no transaction fees for both merchants and customers. IDFC Aadhaar Pay will accelerate the pace of growth for cashless payments, giving wings to the government’s efforts towards digitisation for inclusive growth.”

There is no need for shoppers to have plastic cards or smartphones

The application is being developed by UIDAI in collaboration with TCS, and is available to banks to integrate with their applications. The payments are authenticated through the biometric scanner. Shoppers do not need a plastic card, or a smartphone to make the transactions. An Aadhaar linked bank account, is however, a prerequisite for making the transactions. The limits on the transactions are left to the discretion of the banks.

Payment Authentication through biometric scanning for the Aadhaar Payment app. Image: Narendra Bhooshan Twitter: @nbhooshan

Payment Authentication through biometric scanning for the Aadhaar Payment app. Image: Narendra Bhooshan
Twitter: @nbhooshan

There are plans to eventually migrate the AEPS system to the BHIM system. UIDAI is ensuring security of the application with all the transmitted information having end to end encryption to prevent ‘man in the middle attacks’.

UIDAI has indicated that security for the platform is paramount, and that they will constantly be upgrading the security measures.

Published Date: Apr 14, 2017 04:41 pm | Updated Date: Apr 14, 2017 04:41 pm