It looks like the infrastructure for Aadhaar Pay is slowly falling into place. Mahindra Comviva, the VAS and finanical tech arm of Tech Mahindra, has launched a merchant acceptance solution for the newly launched Aadhaar Pay. The product called payPLUS Aadhaar Pay will use India Stack APIs to allow paperless merchant onboarding with Aadhaar and eKYC.
Customers can pay using their bank account linked with Aadhaar. To process payments, the customers will need to provide their Aadhaar number to the merchant and authorize payment through their fingerprint. The solution requires a biometric device to be linked to merchant’s mobile phone for payment authentication but customers do not need the phone at all.
The government launched the Aadhaar Pay last month. Currently, 14 banks have signed up for Aadhaar Pay as indicated by this Economic Times report. Meanwhile, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, IndusInd Bank and IDFC Bank are due to launch Aadhaar Pay soon, as indicated by this report.
Meanwhile, a report by Mint points out that only merchants who are registered on the UIDAI database will be able to incorportae Aadhaar Pay.
As of January, the number of bank accounts which are linked to the Aadhaar currently stands at 39 crore.
Other payment systems linked to Aadhaar
So far there are three other payment infrastructures which are linked or will be liked to the Aadhaar:
– First is the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Although the UPI curerently only maps a bank account to the registered mobile number. The second version of the UPI is supposed to have Aadhaar integration by March 2017. Note that the draft paper for the UPI had detailed out that it would be using the Aadhaar to map out financial addresses.
– Second is the Aadhaar-Enabled Payment System (AEPS). The AEPS was also designed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The AEPS is a financial inclusion product which allows cash withdrawal, deposit and funds transfer at POS (MicroATM) through a business correspondent of any bank using the Aadhaar authentication. The government added that there are 119 banks on the AEPS. As of January, there are more than 33.87 crore transactions on the AEPS, compared to 46 lakhs in May 2014. There were 7,406 AEPS points were available in May 2014, comapred to 1,65,000 agents in January.
– The third is the Aadhaar Payments Bridge System (APBS) which is responsible for direct benefit transfer of subsidies by the government. Subsidies will be transferred to bank accounts linked to Aadhaar.