A new kind of financial services company is aiming to link payments directly to citizen ID in India. As The Economic Times reports, IndiaPost is preparing to turn citizens’ Aadhaar ID numbers into payment addresses, allowing money to be sent directly to them without the need for a bank account.
IndiaPost is India’s postal service, but it recently received permission to act as a payments bank, allowing individuals to deposit money at a low interest rate; a private banking service, Paytm, and mobile network operator Airtel have also received payments bank certification. As the first government-backed agency to offer this service, IndiaPost is seeking to enable peer-to-peer payments based entirely on the participants’ Aadhaar numbers, regardless of whether they have accounts open at traditional banks.
The effort echoes the Unique Identity Authority of India’s ‘Aadhaar Pay’ project, which would allow individuals to make purchases via biometric scan on a merchant’s mobile POS app; because their Aadhaar profiles include fingerprint and iris data, the system would immediately identify them, and then debit their bank accounts accordingly. It’s no surprise, then, that IndiaPost CEO AP Singh served as UIDAI Deputy Director General when Aadhaar was being launched.
IndiaPost Payments Bank is aiming to begin operations this September.
February 21, 2017 – by Alex Perala