The government of Andhra Pradesh is looking to amend the AP Shop and Establishment Act to enable digital forms of payments in the state. This follows announcements by global payment companies Visa and Mastercard and it looks like it is first trying out the initiatives in Vishakapatnam. Minister of IT Nara Lokesh said that the state is pushing educational institutions, small and micro merchants, and street market vendors to accept digital payment solutions through the amendments.
Currently, the Andhra Pradesh government has a programme called ‘The Vizag Digital Dhan Sankalp’ aimed at digitization for a number use cases.
Visa will be looking to enable payment services for property and water tax at Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), bus services run by Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), tourist locations at Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA), and utility services of Eastern Power Distribution Company of AP Ltd (EPDCL). Last month, Visa enabled BharatQR payments for two power distribution companies and as part of the deal, the state government is looking to abolishing surcharge levied to consumers on digital payments.
Visa is also looking to issue contactless-NFC cards for buses for issuing tickets and the state will be introducing a digital identification for land registry parcels called Bhudhar and will be using blockchain technology as well, the Financial Express reported.
Meanwhile, Mastercard signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh earlier this week to develop smart transit solutions across public transportation system, as indicated by this Press Trust of India report. Mastercard will also develop a marketplace solution for farmers to buy and sell crops and help them to get access to credit.