Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said the BHIM-Aadhaar digital payments platform has the potential to revolutionise the economy while empowering common Indians in the same way as did the Constitution, framed by B R Ambedkar, whose 126th birth anniversary was celebrated across the country yesterday.
Launching the new combined platform here, Modi said that by enabling each Indian to pay digitally using their biometric data on a merchant’s biometric-enabled device, the BHIM-Aadhaar will be like a SmartPhone with a biometric reader and boost digital payments in a manner unprecedented anywhere in the world.
It is a step towards a “less-cash” economy and combating the black money menace, he said.
“’DigiDhan’ is a ‘Safai Abhiyaan’ to free the nation from corruption and black money,” Modi stated.
The new app will enable payments with just a ‘thumb’ impression, which can be used by even an illiterate person to pay digitally with his/her biometric data on a merchant’s biometric-enabled device.
“Any citizen without access to SmartPhone, Internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM-Aadhaar platform,” Modi said.
“It will make digital payments easy for people who cannot read or write, thus realising Babasaheb Ambedkar’s vision of social and financial empowerment for all. Nothing can stop its progress,” he said.
Modi said India’s unprecedented digital payments revolution has attracted the attention of the world with some countries even seeking India’s help to implement it for them.
The prime minister also launched two new incentive schemes for the BHIM-Cashback and Referral Bonus with an outlay of Rs4.95bn for a six-month period to ensure digital payments culture permeates down to the grassroots. Under the Referral Bonus Scheme, both the existing user who refers BHIM and the new user who adopts it would get a cash bonus of Rs 10 credited directly to their accounts.
Similarly, under the Cashback scheme, merchants will get a cash back of Rs25 on every transaction using BHIM.
“I appeal to my young friends... I want the support of India’s youth in the movement towards increased digital transactions,” Modi said.
Both schemes will be administered by the ministry of electronics and information technology (Meity) and implemented by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
Shortly after the prime minister’s announcement, NPCI CEO and managing director A P Hota announced in Mumbai the launch of the BHIM-Aadhaar app which can be downloaded from Google Playstore and iOS as an updated version 1.3, in 12 Indian languages.
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