The Unique Identification Authority of India wants to process some 100 million payments a day in its new biometrics payment system, and needs new hardware.
Minister of State for Electronics and IT P P Chaudhary told the Rajya Sabha (upper parliament) the plans today.
He was responding to a question on how the authority plans to increase biometric authentication capacity of Aadhaar for the recently launched Aadhaar enabled payment system.
Last week, the Indian government has launched an Aadhaar card-linked payments system that will allow customers to ditch their debit and credit cards and pay using their biometrics.
The solution is Aadhaar Pay, a new Android-based smartphone app. Aadhaar Pay is directly linked to a customer’s bank account.
Jointly developed by IDFC Bank, NPCI and UIDAI, the app, which will soon be available on Google Play Store, can be used to make transactions just with the use of biometric data stored in Aadhaar. If you are a merchant, then Aadhaar Pay can be downloaded from the Play Store.
Then the merchant has to install a fingerprint/biometric scanner linked to a smartphone. The smartphone needs to be connected to the merchant’s bank account and internet is required to complete the transaction.
If you are a customer, you need an Aadhaar number and it needs to be linked to your bank account. The customer’s fingerprint/biometric data is needed to complete the transaction. Crucially, if transactions are made via Aadhaar, then no extra charges are levied unlike debit or credit cards at POS machines. While a POS machine costs more than Rs 5,000, a biometric scanner for Aadhaar Pay can be installed for Rs 2,000.