Aadhaar Pay launch by month-end

NEW DELHI: The Centre has asked all banks to launch Aadhaar Pay, which will facilitate financial transactions by using fingerprints, by the end of the month.

All banks will also have to enable ‘Pay to Aadhaar’ facility on the BHIM app by March 31 with SBI and Punjab National Bank asked to provide the facility by the end of the week. This feature on BHIM will help in making payments by simply entering the 12-digit Aadhaar number.

The twin moves, which will make digital transactions easier, will encourage the use of online payments among the poor and illiterate in rural areas. The government has nudged banks to expedite seeding of Aadhaar numbers and also mobile numbers which are key to accelerate the big initiative.

Experts believe that Aadhaar Pay, which is the merchant version of the already in use Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AEPS), will become an alternative for all online and card transactions which require password and PIN.

The app allows merchants to take cashless payments from a customer who is only required to give his Aadhaar number, name of the bank (from where the money is to be deducted) and fingerprint for authentication. To use this service, the customer has to first link his/her bank account to the Aadhaar number.

Aadhaar Pay works on any android-based phone, even a low cost one, with an attached finger biometric device. A top government official said banks have been directed to take merchants on board for using BHIM, fitted with ‘Pay to Aadhaar’ feature and Aadhaar Pay.
Another official said that banks have been asked to speed up deployment of normal PoS (point of sale)machines.