UIDAI bridge ready for seamless cash transfer

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 29 2012, 09:07am hrs
In line with the Budget announcement to start using the Aadhaar technology platform for disbursing sundry doles in 50 districts next fiscal, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has developed an Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB).

The APB is a repository of unique identification numbers of residents and their primary bank account numbers used for receiving all entitlement payments from various government agencies. It facilitates seamless transfer of all welfare scheme payments to beneficiary residents Aadhaar Enabled Bank Account (AEBA)

The bridge is now ready to be rolled out in these 50 districts. The APB platform will be in the micro ATMs for which Aadhaar is a unified financial address connecting the users with different entitlements, said UIDAI director general RS Sharma.

The UIDAI has already started a pilot in Jharkhands Ramgarh district wherein it is experimenting with all social sector schemes, including scholarships and pensions, to be offered through the micro ATMs using the ABP and has made close to 5,000 transactions.

Three public sector oil marketing companies have launched LPG transparency portals to improve customer service and reduce leakage. A pilot project for selling LPG at market price and reimburse the subsidy directly to the beneficiarys bank account is being conducted in Mysore. A similar pilot project on the direct transfer of subsidy for kerosene to the bank accounts of beneficiaries has been initiated in Rajasthan's Alwar district. Further, the Aadhaar platform has also been successfully used to validate PDS ration cards in Jharkhand.

Moreover, the Nandan Nilekani-led task force on an Aadhaar Enabled Unified

Payment Infrastructure has said that the basic financial transactions on these accounts (cash deposit, credit customer's mobile linked no-frills account, cash withdrawal, peer-to-peer transfer and balance inquiry) can be executed through the deployed business correspondents.

The APB requires the use of Aadhaar number as the primary key for all entitlement payments thereby weeding out all ghost customers and ensuring that the benefits reach the intended beneficiaries.

The service delivery agency that needs to make payments to its beneficiaries such as MGNREGA wages, scholarships disbursement and old age pension provides the

APB file containing details of Aadhaar number, welfare scheme reference number and the amount to be paid to its bank called sponsor bank, which is then sent to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The NPCI processes uploaded files, prepares beneficiary bank files that are then accessed by the destination bank.

All government schemes should transfer money into any one Aadhaar-enabled account of the customers choice using the APB, Sharma said.

Pranab Mukherjees Budget 2012-13 has given a 46.5% increase in the authoritys allocation at R1,758 crore from R1,200 crore in 2011-12. The enrollments into the Aadhaar system have crossed 20 crore and 15.5 crore Aadhar numbers have been generated.