New Delhi: Enroute to the digital payments gaining the proportions of a mass movement, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a series of initiatives on the 126th birth anniversary of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar in Nagpur today. He launched the BHIM Aadhaar platform for merchants, Cash back and Referral bonus schemes for BHIM and declared about 75 townships going less-cash. The Prime Minister felicitated the winners of the Mega draw of the two major incentive schemes to promote digital payments- Lucky GrahakYojana and DigidhanVyapaarYojana..
Launching BHIM-Aadhaar digital payment platform, Prime Minister said that the BHIM App is positively impacting several lives across the nation. He said that the Digi-dhan movement is also a cleansing mission to fight the menace of corruption. BHIM-Aadhaar, the merchant interface of the BHIM App, will pave the way for making digital payments by using the Aadhaar platform. Any Indian citizen can pay digitally using their biometric data like their thumb imprint on a merchants’ biometric enabled device which could be smart phone having a biometric reader. Any citizen without access to smart phones, internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM Aadhaar platform. Already, 27 major banks are now on board with 7.15 lakh merchants so that they can start accepting payments using BHIM Aadhaar.
The Prime Minister also launched two new incentive schemes for the BHIM – Cash back and Referral bonus – with an outlay of Rs. 495 crore for a period of six months. This is to ensure that the culture of digital payments permeates down to the grassroots. Under the Referral bonus scheme both the existing user who refers BHIM and the new user who adopts BHIM would get a cash bonus credited directly to their account. Under the Cashback scheme the merchants will get a cash back on every transaction using BHIM. Both schemes are to be administered by MEITY and implemented by NPCI.
The initial two incentives schemes viz., Lucky GrahakYojana and DigiDhanVyaparYojana, came to an end after a rigorous 100 day information, education and communication campaign led by NITI Aayog to make digital payments a mass movement in India. Under the scheme Rs.258 crore of prize money was won by 16 lakh winners, including customers and merchants belonging to different corners of the country and from varied walks of life.
The lucky winners the Mega Draw were felicitated by the Prime Minister on this occasion. The winners of the mega draw itself are a testimony to the spread of the digital payments revolution in the country.
20 year-old Shradha Mohan Mengshette, a second year student of Electrical Engineering from Latur district in Maharashtra, emerged as the winner of Rs.1 crore mega draw for consumers. She won the reward for making a transaction of Rs.1590 through her Rupay card online, to pay the monthly EMI for her new mobile phone. The 2nd prize of Rs. 50 lakh, under the Lucky GrahakYojana for consumers, was won by Hardik Kumar from Khambhat in Gujarat. The 29-year-old is a primary school teacher who used hisRupay card for making a transaction of Rs. 1100. Another RuPay card transaction, of just Rs.100, won Bharat Singh from the Sherpur village in Uttarakhand an amount of Rs. 25 lakh.
The 1st prize of Rs. 50 lakh, under the Digi-DhanVyaparYojana category for merchants, was won by AnandAnanthapadmanabhan for accepting a payment of Rs.300 at GRT Jewellers in Tambaram, Tamil Nadu. The 2nd prize of Rs. 25 lacs was won by RaginiRajendraUttekar, owner of a small beauty parlour in Thane, Maharashtra. She accepted a payment of Rs.510 which won her this amount. The 3rd prize of Rs. 12 lakh was won by 33 year-old Shaik Rafi who runs a wholesale clothing store in Ameerpet, Telangana. He accepted a payment of Rs. 2000 on his PoS machine.
100 days of DigiDhanMelas, led by NITI Aayog in 100 cities across India, have had a huge impact in enabling increased usage of digital payment methods. At least 15,000 institutions have gone cashless across just these 100 rural and urban cities across each one of the 27 states and 7 UTs. With a turnout of over 15 lakh from cities, small towns and villages, the melas have enabled lakhs to open new bank accounts as well as create new Aadhaar cards.
BHIM App has already created a new world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads in just four months since its launch in December, 2016. More importantly, India has also seen an unprecedented increase in number of transactions made using several user-friendly digital payment methods. Until November 2016, the volume of all digital transactions was 2,80,000 which amounted to Rs.101 crore in value terms. In just four months, by March this year, volume of payments using various digital payment modes saw an increase of about 23 times amounting with 63,80,000 digital transactions for a value of Rs. 2425 crore. Aadhaar Enabled Payments have increased from 2.5 crore in November 2016 to over 5 crore in March 2017. Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transactions have also increased from 3.6 crore to 6.7 crore during the same period.
In order to achieve the target of 2500 crore digital transactions during the current financial year, the Prime Minister will also announce about 75 townships spread all over India as ‘less-cash townships’. A less-cash township is one where the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure is complete, all the families in the township are covered under training programs. The townships selected for the launch have been subjected to independent third party assessment by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and only those townships which have reported more than 80% of the total number of transactions in the township being done through digital modes of payments during the review period are included in this list. These townships are likely to generate over 1.5 lakh digital transactions every day thereby leading to about 5.5 crore digital transactions in a year.
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