Nasscom Aadhaar

NASSCOM Product Council has collaborated with Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to launch a new initiative called ‘Aadhaar Diffusion Project’, which aims to step up the development of apps and services that use Aadhaar’s identity infrastructure.

The details on this project is a bit sparse right now, but NASSCOM said this initiative will link Aadhaar with various IT based applications. As part of this initiative, NASSCOM will also be conducting a series of activities: an annual developer conference, hackathons, bootcamps, app contests and certification programs with an yet-undisclosed industry certification organization.

Earlier in May, UIDAI had launched three Aadhaar based identity authentication services: an authentication services using Iris, an authentication service using one time pin (OTP) and an electronic know your customer (eKYC) service. Last week, Axis Bank had teamed up with Visa to roll out the eKYC facility across 1,000 branches.

Following the announcement, UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani said in a fireside chat with Frictionless Ventures Chairman Ravi Gururaj, that they are currently formulating the pricing for the eKYC service and claimed that it will be priced reasonably.

Aadhaar enrollments scaling up: Aadhaar enrollments are apparently scaling up rapidly, with the organization issuing 30 million Aadhaar numbers in this month itself. It has issued 460 million Aadhaar cards until now and Nilekani claimed Aadhaar is currently the only platform in the world where half a billion users have a unique number with biometric authentication capabilities.

They currently have 32 million bank led accounts associated with Aadhaar cards and around 15 million authentications has been made until now. Nilekani claimed the platform can currently handle around 100 million authentications per day.

Cost of Aadhaar: Nilekani said – “The cost per individual Aadhaar is between Rs 100 to Rs 150, so a population of 120 crore will cost anywhere around Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore for the entire project”.

Aadhaar-IMPS tie-up: He also mentioned that UIDAI recently partnered (.doc file) with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch Aadhaar based remittance service, which enables money transfer from one Aadhaar number to another number or to bank accounts and vice versa.

It also allows users to transfer money from one Aadhaar number to a mobile number. The organization had initially signed up six banks including ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India and Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank, State Bank of India and Mehsana Urban Cooperative Bank and the service is expected to go live in the next couple of months.

PRISM effect? Responding to an audience question on privacy concerns following the PRISM program, Nilekani said this platform has been designed not to accumulate data and works only as an ID system. All the third party data resides with the respective businesses. For instance, if bank uses Aadhaar for authentication, all the bank details resides with the bank.

How can companies enroll to use authentication services? Companies will need to sign up as an authenticated user agency (AUA), which is appointed by designated authentication service agencies (ASAs). UIDAI currently has around 50-75 AUAs.