Niti plans incentives, including Rs 1 crore prize, to boost e-payments


NEW DELHI: The Niti Aayog has planned an incentive scheme, including a Rs 1 crore prize, based on draw of lots, to those who use digital payment systems the most as the government steps up measures to push electronic transactions.

It has asked the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to conceptualise and launch the programme to incentivise digital payments. Sources said Rs 125 crore would be made available from the National Financial Inclusion Fund. NPCI is an umbrella organization for all retail payments systems and has ten promoter banks ­­ SBI, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Citibank and HSBC.

The scheme targets people living in villages and small cities and encourages them to move towards digital transactions. “There will be quarterly draw of transaction IDs for the grand prize of Rs one crore. The focus will be on poor, lower middle class and small businesses,“ said an official, who did not wish to be named. There will also be a weekly lucky draw of the transaction IDs and winner will get Rs 10 lakh. “Ten customers and ten merchants will be given the prize every week,“ another official said.

Niti Aayog noted there has been remarkable increase in volume and amount of digital transactions since the demonetisation move. Government data shows digital payments soared by 300% since.

Under the scheme, all consumers and merchants using digital payments such as USSD, AEPS, UPI and RuPay cards will be eligible. For merchants, transactions on POS machines will be considered.
The scheme will launched by end of this month and those who have used digital payment systems after November 8 can participate.