TRAI: DAS-Bharatnet Digital India’s ‘Aadhaar’

NEW DELHI: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman R S Sharma said that the country would gradually shift to a payment system using Aadhaar card instead of the various private pay systems or wallets.

He also mentioned that the implementation of Bharatnet will be faster and effective with PPP model, and further combined with Digital Cable Television System, India will reach a new level of digital connectivity.

At a seminar on “Demonetisation to Digital Remonetisation”, Sharma said that “Cost, Convenience, and Confidence are crucial factors for a successful Digital Payment System implementation in India.

In the meet organzed by FICCI, he said 1.1 billion people already have Aadhaar cards and the number was going up everyday.

Sharma said one of the nine pillars of TRAI in a report given early this year was to go cashless. This report which also refers to Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) was already being implemented by banks.

The regulator was now working on a system of Aadhaar KYC (Know Your Customer) whereby any consumer could directly be able to use his Aadhaar identification to make payments. Electronic KYC is also in place.

He said that TRAI had given a paper about Aadhaar authentication system to UIDAI as early as October 2010 and said this is vital.

This involved three elements: What I know (my finger print or Iris), what I have (Credit or Debit Cards) and What I am (Biometrics).

Aadhaar interoperability was also suggested in 2010. Thus, the software for going cashless is in place but has to be implemented as both software and infrastructure are in place.

It was important for the finance sector to get integrated into the telecom sector in this regard.

Answering a question, he said that the systems have to be made simple so that everyone is able to understand and implement them.

Sharma highlighted the pillars of Digital India and mentioned the need of an effective Digital Infrastructure, and how availability and affordability of digital solutions formulates the base of Digital Remonetisation. The TRAI chairman highlighted how JAM Trinity creates a robust system within India, which further creates a digital inclusion with Aadhaar users across India.

Sharma recommended that in order to create a well operational and sustainable digital and cashless economy, it is vital to eliminate convenience charge by the banks. He firmly suggested that interoperable or interlinked digital wallets can additionally support the digital payment systems of India.

The meet was part of an ICT policy dialogue with the agenda to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie before the ICT sector, government and the regulators following the demonetisation move.