Govt all set to roll out Aadhaar Pay, 14 banks already on board

The Narendra Modi government is all set to roll out the Aadhaar Pay service that would enable people to make and receive payments using their Aadhaar number and biometrics, taking another step towards a cashless economy.

Information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said that 14 banks were ready to launch the Aadhaar Pay services.

"We are going to start Aadhaar Pay. With this people will not require to carry their phone for payments. They can visit any merchant, share their Aadhaar number and verify themselves using biometrics to pay and receive money," Prasad said

The minister said the government was already in talks with other banks too and that the Aadhaar Pay service would be launched very soon.

According to sources, some banks have already developed their application and testing is on in Andhra Pradesh.

The Aadhaar Pay service integrates the interface for Money (BHIM), the common platform for making quick payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), with Aadhaar Enabled Payment System.

UIDAI has so far issued 1.11 billion Aadhaar IDs and the minister said that the Aadhaar Act takes care not to breach the privacy of the people and completely respects privacy of people.

"We all know the Aadhaar was started by previous government but at that time it was only a digital identity of a citizen of India. Under the government led by Narendra Modi, due to various initiative taken, it has become powerful tool of financial and future transformation," Prasad said.

He said the Aadhaar generation, which was 632.2 million as of 31 May 2014 with daily enrolment or about 3-4 lakh and rose to around 5-6 lakh per day till October 2016, has increased to 7-8 lakh per day since demonetisation.

"There are 490 million bank accounts linked to Aadhaar. Every month 20 million accounts are being seeded with Aadhaar," Prasad said.

The minister said that Aadhaar Pay Enabled System is already in works and 330 million transactions have been made on it in rural India.

Post demonetisation till 15 January over 83.9 million AEPS transactions have been carried out in the field. Of this, over 37.3 million transactions took place in December 2016 and 20.6 million transactions in first 15 days of January 2017. Earlier AEPS transactions were about 25.7 million and 26.9 million in October and November 2016, respectively.

Prasad said that use of Aadhaar for transaction has led to saving of Rs36,144 crore in fiscal year 2014-15 and 2015-16.