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IDFC Bank launches Aadhaar Pay for fingerprint-based digital payments


IDFC Bank has launched an app called Aadhaar Pay that is designed to help the millions of Indian citizens without a smartphone to make digital purchases using only their fingerprint, according to a report by Mashable.

To offer Aadhaar Pay, merchants throughout the country will be able to download the app on their Android smartphones and attach a fingerprint scanner device.

To make payments, consumers simply select their bank name, enter their unique Aadhaar number and scan their fingerprint, which authorizes the payment directly from their bank account linked to their Aadhaar card.

There are currently over one billion people in India who have an Aadhaar card, while 400 million of the 1.12 billion bank accounts are linked to Aadhaar cards. However, the Indian government is planning to link all savings bank accounts in the nation with an Aadhaar card.

If successful, Aadhaar Pay could help transition the country over to cashless digital payments — regardless of whether the person has internet connectivity, is illiterate, and has a smartphone.

A recent report by marketing research firm Counterpoint finds that out of India’s 1.3 billion population, approximately 268 million people had a smartphone at the end of Q3 2016. Additionally, not all of these citizens have a device that is connected to the internet.

Following India’s move to go ‘cashless’ last month, the majority of people have had no other options other than to visit banks and ATMs.

Aadhaar Pay also ensures that both the merchant and the customer is not charged a transaction fee, making the outcome equivalent to paying by cash.

Currently, over 100 merchant outlets in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Bihar are offering the app for use.

“It is [sic] the simplest way to pay as it does not require a customer to swipe debit cards, remember passwords, or download apps. Importantly, there are no transaction fees for both merchants and customers,” said Dr. Rajiv Lall, founder, managing director and CEO at IDFC Bank said in a press statement. “IDFC Aadhaar Pay will accelerate the pace of growth for cashless payments, giving wings to the government’s efforts towards digitization for inclusive growth.”

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