Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM Aadhaar platform for merchants, Cash back and Referral bonus schemes for BHIM and declared about 75 townships going less-cash.
BHIM-Aadhaar, the merchant interface of the BHIM App, will pave the way for making digital payments by using the Aadhaar platform.
Any Indian citizen can pay digitally using their biometric data like their thumb imprint on a merchants’ biometric enabled device which could be smart phone having a biometric reader.
Any citizen without access to smart phones, internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM Aadhaar platform.
Already, 27 major banks are now on board with 7.15 lakh merchants so that they can start accepting payments using BHIM Aadhaar.
The Prime Minister also launched two new incentive schemes for the BHIM – Cash back and Referral bonus – with an outlay of Rs. 495 crore for a period of six months. This is to ensure that the culture of digital payments permeates down to the grassroots.
Under the Referral bonus scheme both the existing user who refers BHIM and the new user who adopts BHIM would get a cash bonus credited directly to their account.
Under the Cashback scheme the merchants will get a cash back on every transaction using BHIM. Both schemes are to be administered by MEITY and implemented by NPCI.
The initial two incentives schemes viz., Lucky GrahakYojana and DigiDhanVyaparYojana, came to an end after a rigorous 100 day information, education and communication campaign led by NITI Aayog to make digital payments a mass movement in India. Under the scheme Rs.258 crore of prize money was won by 16 lakh winners, including customers and merchants belonging to different corners of the country and from varied walks of life.
BHIM App has already created a new world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads in just four months since its launch in December, 2016.
Aadhaar Enabled Payments have increased from 2.5 crore in November 2016 to over 5 crore in March 2017. Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transactions have also increased from 3.6 crore to 6.7 crore during the same period.
In order to achieve the target of 2500 crore digital transactions during the current financial year, the Prime Minister will also announce about 75 townships spread all over India as ‘less-cash townships’. A less-cash township is one where the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure is complete, all the families in the township are covered under training programs.
The townships selected for the launch have been subjected to independent third party assessment by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and only those townships which have reported more than 80% of the total number of transactions in the township being done through digital modes of payments during the review period are included in this list.
These townships are likely to generate over 1.5 lakh digital transactions every day thereby leading to about 5.5 crore digital transactions in a year.