The World’s largest and unique biometrics based identification programme with a real time online authentication infrastructure – the Aadhaar has been recognized in the recent UN Report on World Social Situation, 2016 as a developmental tool with tremendous potential to foster inclusion by giving citizens, including the poorest and most marginalized, an official identity enabling fairer access of the people to government benefits and services.
Now in its fourth phase, with demonetisation and Digital India drive towards less-cash economy, Aadhaar is the game changer with Aadhaar Pay – a non-traditional digital payment system without a need of card, pin, password or mobile with the consumer.
As on date, Aadhaar’s total saturation percentage is 91.7% (as per Census 2011) while over 99% adult population above the age of 18 have been assigned Aadhaar numbers. Twenty two States/UTs have more than 90% saturation.
Aadhaar has become an extraordinary institution to connect the ordinary people of India into the banking system in a flawless manner.
Firstly, Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) on which 119 banks are live. This helps the Banking Correspondents to go to the doorsteps in rural villages, facilitating banking transactions, with the help of Micro-ATMs, linked with Aadhaar. More than 33.87 crore transactions have taken place through AEPS, which was only 46 lakhs in May 2014. While only 7,406 AEPS points were available in May 2014, now have over 165,000 agents available in the villages.
Secondly, the opening of bank accounts with Aadhaar eKYC, in which 97 banks are live and 4.47 crore bank accounts have been opened till now, which was only 1 lakh in May 2014.
Thirdly, Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB), a seamless payment facility, which enables disbursal of benefits /other payments directly to the beneficiary’s account, popularly known as Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), has shown considerable growth in the past two years. Total number of transactions on the APB were logged at 167.36 crore worth Rs 44,967 crore which has risen by ten folds in value since 31st May 2014 (7 crore transactions, worth Rs 4,000 crore).
Fourthly, with the Aadhaar Pay, any person with his Aadhaar number linked to Bank account, can make and / or receive payment, with his thumb impression alone. There is absolutely no need for consumer to have any phone, debit card etc. This will be available to all the persons having Aadhaar linked bank accounts, whose number stands at 39 crores now, which was only 6.7 crore in May 2014.