Protean and PayNearby are teaming up in an effort to raise inclusion in India’s financial ecosystem. PayNearby maintains a network of physical retail outlets in India, many of which are in some of the country’s more remote locations. Protean, meanwhile, specializes in e-Government technologies, and is authorized to process Permanent Account Number (PAN) card applications for India’s Income Tax Department.
The new partnership concerns those PAN cards. India’s Income Tax Department issues PAN cards to track financial activity and prevent tax evasion. As a result, a PAN card is often essential for those applying for financial services through more traditional banking channels. The PayNearby and Protean partnership will make it easier for people to apply for a PAN card and access PAN services online.
Those who are interested will be able to visit their local PayNearby location and submit an online application for a PAN card through the store. The applicant will receive a digital version of their PAN card a few hours later, while the physical version will arrive within five working days. The system will eliminate the need for paper application forms, and speed up the approval process for people in areas with less robust infrastructure and internet coverage.
Applicants will need to verify their identities when filing for a PAN card. In that regard, the PayNearby and Protean system will rely on Aadhaar biometrics and SMS One-Time Passwords for authentication. PayNearby itself will operate as a Protean PAN Service Agency.
“Our partnership will help to advance our shared vision of an inclusive and empowered India,” said Protean CEO and Managing Director Suresh Sethi. “This initiative is aligned with our mission to leave no citizen behind and bring the digitally excluded into the fold of formal financial economy.”
India has repeatedly used Aadhaar authentication to try to make government services more readily available to India’s rural population. However, the Aadhaar system has struggled with security issues in the past few months.
June 20, 2022 – by Eric Weiss