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    UID debuts on BHIM, Aadhaar Pay to be launched soon

    Synopsis

    BHIM, the common platform for making quick payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), has also been integrated with Aadhaar Enabled Payment System on Thursday.

    As of now, 14 banks have come on board for Aadhaar Pay and the service will be launched soon.
    NEW DELHI: The government has enabled the Bharat Interface for Mobile (BHIM) app with Aadhaar and plans to launch the biometric based Aadhaar Pay payment module in the coming weeks, minister for electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday.

    Aadhaar Pay service will enable people to make and receive payments using their Aadhaar number and biometrics.

    "We are going to start Aadhaar Pay. With this people will not require to carry their phone for payments. They can visit any merchant, share their Aadhaar number and verify themselves using biometrics to pay and receive money," Prasad said.

    As of now, 14 banks have come on board for Aadhaar Pay and the government is in talks with other banks too, Prasad added.

    Aadhaar has given unique numbers to 111 crore people in the country already and almost 39 crore bank accounts are linked to Aadhaar.

    ET had reported on 16 January that in a few weeks, government will unveil a feature for payments through the integrated Unified Payments Interface (UPI) app BHIM by simply entering the 12-digit Aadhaar number.

    Transactions where Aadhaar is listed as a payment ID on the BHIM app will not require any biometric authentication or prior registration with the bank or Unified Payment Interface (UPI). This will make it more mainstream since almost one-third of India already has Aadhaar numbers, which have been linked to their bank accounts.

    Prasad said that almost two crore new people are linking their bank accounts with Aadhaar every month.

    Though BHIM allows sending money to a mobile number, it requires the receiver to be registered with the UPI in order to accept payment. In turn, the long process of generating a UPI PIN by entering debit card details may discourage the poor and the illiterate.

    Currently, there are five payment options on the BHIM app — namely mobile number, bank account or IFSC code, among others. Aadhaar number will be the sixth such option.

    "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 good governance and targeted delivery of services, benefits and subsidies," Prasad said.
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