Following the Prime Minister’s personal push to subvert the associations of being angootha chhap by enabling financial empowerment through Aadhaar, companies other than banks are rushing to cash in on the biometrics-enabled opportunity. Information technology major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the latest to develop a solution based on Aadhaar Pay, which was launched on April 14 on the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) payments app.
The company has developed a platform which will offer merchants and retailers an integrated solution to accept payments through Aadhaar Pay, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), mobile wallets as well as debit and credit cards.
Ravi Viswanathan, president for growth markets at TCS, told FE, the solution will require merchants to download the company’s Merchant Pay app and link it to their current accounts. Before this, merchants will have to register for Aadhaar Pay and get a micro-USB fingerprint scanner attached to their smartphones. The same scanner will also enable card-based payments.
TCS has already implemented the solution for four banks – which Viswanathan declined to name – and is running pilots for 15 others with merchants in and around Mumbai. “Even if you don’t have a current account, the application will take you to set up one, and then you will receive a message confirming your registration ID,” Viswanathan said. Once the registration is completed, the merchant will receive an SMS with a secured link to download the Merchant Pay app.
Work on the solution began a month after demonetisation, Viswanathan added.
Among lenders, IDFC Bank has been the first to launch Aadhaar-based payments for merchants. Apart from banks, fintech start-up Benow, incubated by Mastek, and others are also enrolling merchants and helping develop B2B solutions.
The April 14 launch of BHIM-Aadhaar happened with over 7 lakh merchants already on board by 27 banks. Each of the 96,000 branches of state-owned banks had a target of getting five shops on board.