tech2 News StaffJan 18, 2017 12:28:58 IST
Your 12-digit Aadhaar number could soon be used as a universal payment address in the Bharat Interface for Money (Bhim) app. One third of the country has an Aadhaar card as of now, and half the country is expected to get an Aadhaar card over the next two to three months. More than half of the country is unbanked. If the Aadhaar card is not linked to a bank account, users will be unable to use the Aadhaar number for transactions.
There are a number of payment options currently supported by the Bhim app. Users can use a QR code tied to the account, generate a QR code for a single transaction, transfer money with a UPI address or through an IFSC code. All of these payment options require some kind of authentication or set up by the user, which can be discouraging to people who are unfamiliar with technology. Using the Aadhaar number for payments will make the process even simpler, and will require no additional authentication steps.
Payment made through the Aadhaar number will not require mobile banking activated on the bank account, biometric authentication, or a UPI address. A UPI address is however, generated automatically and linked to the number on installing the application. UIDAI is working with banks and the NPCI to introduce this facility, and Aadhaar number based payments are expected to land on the Bhim app in the next few weeks, according to a report in the Economic Times.
Making the Aadhaar number also the payment address is only a part of the plan. Additional steps are being taken to use Aadhaar numbers for easy cashless transactions. A pilot project in Andhra Pradesh under test involves entering in the Aadhaar number at point of sale machines, accompanied by a biometric authentication process. UIDAI is in the process of rolling out Aadhaar pay for merchants which allows businesses to accept cashless payments without the need of a smartphone or a plastic card, using only the biometric authentication provided by a Rs 2,000 fingerprint scanner.
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