Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every individual resident of India. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UDAI), which functions under the Planning Commission of India, is responsible for managing Aadhaar numbers and Aadhaar identification cards.
The Aadhaar project was initiated as an attempt towards having a single, unique identification document or number that would capture all the details, including demographic and biometric information, of every resident Indian individual. Currently there are a plethora of identity documents in India including passports, permanent account numbers (PANs), driving licenses and ration cards. The Aadhaar card / UID will not replace these identification documents but can be used as the sole identification proof when applying for other things. It will also serve as the basis for Know Your Customer (KYC) norms used by banks, financial institutions, telecom firms and other businesses that maintain customer profiles. Aadhaar numbers will eventually serve as the basis for a database with which disadvantaged Indian residents can access services that have been denied to them due to lack of identification documents.
The government has been working on an ‘Aadhaar Payment App’ to do away with plastic card and point of sales machines (POS) that seem to have done little in times of demonetisation. According to a report from the Economic Times, the new app will be launched sometime around 25 December keeping in mind a faster adoption of a cashless society and to eradicate fee payments charged by card companies, making it an affordable digital payment solution for merchants in rural areas.
The new app will eradicate the need for payment machines for cashless transactions where all a merchant would need is an Android smartphone to run a cashless business.
As per the source, merchants would need to download the Aadhaar Cashless merchant app and connect to a biometric reader, one that is currently on sale for Rs 2,000.
All the customer needs to do is feed in his or her Aadhaar number into the app and select the bank for the transaction. The customer can then use the scanner to identify the customer and authenticate the transaction. Indeed this eliminates the need for One Time Passwords (OTPs), PINs and much more that are a common requirement for plastic or digital transaction these days.
The app has been developed by IDFC Bank along with UIDAI and National Payments Corporation of India and will be available for download nationwide on Sunday.