The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has extended the deadline for upgrade of the existing biometric authentication devices to be used for BHIM-Aadhaar payments to July 2019, sources said. The earlier deadline was June 1, 2017. In January this year, the UIDAI had issued a notification to the effect that all the existing devices used for biometric authentication for Aadhaar-enabled services must be upgraded to Level 0 (through a software upgrade) or Level 1 (involving upgrades both at the level of software and hardware) by June 1, 2017. Use of devices that were not upgraded would result in authentication failures thereafter. While the specifications for Level 0 were notified subsequently, those for Level 1 were awaited. As a result, merchant payments through BHIM-Aadhaar, launched on April 14, have so far not taken off, with banks deferring their plans to acquire merchants for such transactions. Earlier this month, State Bank of India received the approval of the authority to use existing devices, which are Level 0 ones, for BHIM-Aadhaar payments, a senior banker told FE. The bank is understood to be ready with the app that will enable such payments and was waiting for clarity on standards for authentication devices. On the day BHIM-Aadhaar was launched, the government said seven lakh merchants had already been acquired for transactions through the biometric-enabled channel by 27 banks. There has not been any further update from the government on merchant acquisition or transaction volumes.