Back in December 2016, just after the demonetization, the government launched the BHIM app. A Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based app which allowed one-to-one money transfer. But for BHIM app to work you need a smartphone and an active internet connection to make a transaction. Also, it lacked a definite solution for merchants or store owners to accept payment from customers.
Now during the occasion of Dr Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar’s 126th birth anniversary, the government has come up with BHIM-Aadhaar platform. It’s the merchant interface of the BHIM App, which allows merchants to accept payments from customers.
With BHIM-Aadhaar merchant solution, as a customer, you won’t need to carry around a smartphone or even need a VPA id like in UPI apps. You only need a bank account with Aadhaar card linked to it. Merchants can accept payments from you simply by using your biometric data like the fingerprint.
BHIM Aadhaar platform
If you check the current digital payment solution available like the BHIM app, UPI apps, Bharat QR and other digital wallets, you need to have a smartphone and internet connection to access the service. Also for the basic USSD based mobile banking and UPI transactions, you still need a mobile phone. With BHIM-Aadhaar platform government plans to bring along those people who still lack a mobile or don’t know how to use the different payment services.
BHIM Aadhaar platform allows any Indian citizen to pay digitally using their biometric data like their fingerprint on a merchants’ biometric-enabled device. You just need an Indian bank account and a linked Aadhaar card. Even users without access to smartphones, internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM Aadhaar platform. The platform will be using Aadhaar Payment Bridge and Aadhaar-Enabled Payment System to authenticate the transactions.
How BHIM Aadhaar platform works
- For the BHIM Aadhaar platform, Merchants should have the BHIM Aadhaar app installed on their smartphone.
- They should also have a biometric reader linked with the smartphone to scan users fingerprint.
- For customers, they only need a bank account and an Aadhaar card linked with the bank.
- While making a transaction, the merchant will ask you to enter your Aadhaar number and you can also choose your bank account.
- After entering the amount for the transaction, your fingerprint will be scanned for authentication.
- That’s it, once authenticated the money will be transferred directly from your bank account to merchants bank account.
Currently, over 27 major banks in India are part of the HIM Aadhaar platform. Also, this banks have already on-boarded over 7.15 lakh merchants to the platform. So, next time you shop a grocery store, or a shopping mall you don’t need to carry around your big wallet. You just need to remember the Aadhaar number and your fingerprint will be your bank.