India plans unified electronic payment system linked to Aadhaar number

India has begun implementing plans for a centralized electronic payment system and set of APIs designed to encourage the country to transition over to electronic transactions via smartphone and biometric technology, according to a report by Finextra.

Initiated by the Reserve Bank of India in 2008, the National Payments Corporation of India has been ordered to consolidate and integrate the country’s many retail payments systems.

NPCI recently published its unified payment interface API and technology specifications to be used by banks, merchants and other institutions to send and receive payments.

Plans for the unified system come as smartphones continue to see a rapid adoption rate in the country and the UIDAI works towards registering all citizens with an Aadhaar number.

The new interface is designed to enable all account holders to send and receive money from their smartphones with a single identifier – Aadhaar number, mobile number, virtual payments address – without entering any bank account information.

The NPCI said that the interface will be based on a two factor authentication method which provides an ecosystem and set of APIs that allow banks and other institutions support the growth of e-commerce and financial inclusion.

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