New Delhi: The government will soon launch Aadhaar Pay, a service that will enable people to make or receive payments through the Aadhaar unique identity number and biometrics.
More than 14 banks have already been integrated with Aadhaar Pay, the government said on Friday.
“More than 14 banks have already been integrated with Aadhaar Pay. With this, people will not be required to carry their phones or cards for payments. They can visit any merchant, share their Aadhaar number and verify themselves using biometrics to pay and receive money,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, law and IT minister at a press conference.
Aadhaar Pay will also be available on the recently launched Bharat Interface for Money, or BHIM, an app developed by the government to further its cashless push.
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As per the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), as on date, Aadhaar’s total saturation percentage is 91.7% (as per Census 2011) while over 99% of adults above the age of 18 have been assigned Aadhaar numbers.
There has also been a pickup in usage of Aadhaar-based transactions. Till now, more than 33.87 crore transactions have been carried out through the Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AEPS) with 119 banks operating on it.
AEPS is a mechanism through which a beneficiary who does not have access to a bank branch is able to withdraw or deposit money at his doorstep by giving his Aadhaar and fingerprint on a micro ATM.
“Aadhaar generation has crossed the 111 crore (1.11 billion) mark. It has come a long way in less than six and a half years of its journey from being a unique identification programme to transform itself into a critical development tool of public–centric governance and targeted delivery of services/benefits/subsidies,” added Prasad.
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Aadhaar is also being increasingly used to disburse payments under various government schemes. Under Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB), a total of 38.51 crore accounts have been linked to Aadhaar till 2017. The number of transactions routed through APB for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Act (MNREGA), LPG subsidy and other Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) stand at 9.59 crores, 150.71 crores and 11.82 crores respectively.
APB is a mechanism through which benefits under various initiatives and public welfare schemes are disbursed to beneficiaries.
With the notification of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, in September last year, newer avenues where Aadhaar can be used are being considered by the government.