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Common service centres to assist merchants in digital payments

The project would reach out to each of the 250,000 Gram Panchayats across the country through 200,000 CSCs which are operational across rural urban locations

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2016, 07.42 PM IST
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The options include Aadhaar enabled payments through biometrics, bank transfers, the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), Point of Sale (PoS) machines etc.
The options include Aadhaar enabled payments through biometrics, bank transfers, the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), Point of Sale (PoS) machines etc.
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NEW DELHI: In order to enable more and more merchants to accept digital payment, especially in the rural areas of the country, the government has asked entrepreneurs running the common service centres (CSC) or digital kiosks to train and assist at least 10 shopkeepers or artisans in their vicinity in conducting electronic transactions. The options include Aadhaar enabled payments through biometrics, bank transfers, the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), Point of Sale (PoS) machines etc.

The entrepreneurs have also been tasked to educate to at least 40 households on how to use digital tools for payments. In turn the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE) as they are called will be given cash incentives; Rs. 200 per session of financial literacy and Rs.100 for each new merchant sigh up.

There are around 2,00,000 CSCs in the country and the government aims to increase the number to 2.5 lakh in the future.

"The project, titled ‘Digital Finance for Rural India: Creating Awareness and Access through CSCs (DFIAA)’ aims to enable the CSCs to become Digital Financial Hubs, by hosting awareness sessions on government policies and digital finance options available for rural citizens as well as enabling various mechanisms of digital financial services such as IMPS, UPI, Bank PoS machines, etc," said a statement by the ministry of electronics and IT which administers the CSCs.

The project would reach out to each of the 250,000 Gram Panchayats across the country through 200,000 CSCs which are operational across rural and semi-urban locations, added the statement.

According to another official in the know, a major component of this exercise will be to sign up merchants as Aadhaar merchants, where they will be provided a micro-ATM which will help them to accept Aadhaar based payments. "People can just enter their Aadhaar number and biometrics and make payments at these merchant shops, the merchants will become Aadhaar merchants similar to Visa or MasterCard merchants. They can also withdraw cash through these outlets if the shop registers as a banking correspondent," said an official.

The person added that people who do not have micro-ATMs can also attach a biometric reader to their smartphones to enable such transactions. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDA) has already issued more than 108.27 crore Aadhaar numbers to the residents of India.

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