Indian citizens will soon be able to pay for goods and services using only their fingerprints.
Elaborating on a program initially announced earlier this month, the country’s Minister of Information Technology (and Law and Justice), Ravi Shankar Prasad, has announced that the government is stepping up efforts to promote payments via Aadhaar, the country’s national biometric ID program. At gas stations, stores, and elsewhere, the project will see merchants accept payment by performing fingerprint or iris scans, meaning even citizens without a smartphone can pay by Aadhaar.
The fingerprint scans can be conducted using cheap readers that can be attached to merchants’ smartphones, with the government planning to launch a standardized payment app this week. The Indian government is also planning workshops across the country to train merchants on how to use the digital payment technology.
In announcing the program, Prasad asserted that about 400 million of the country’s 1.1 billion banks accounts are already linked to Aadhaar, suggesting the new payments program could have a dramatic impact on economic life in the country.
December 20, 2016 – by Alex Perala