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Aadhaar biometrics could support financial inclusion through fintechs

UIDAI launches PVC Aadhaar cards, more biometric authentication may lower GST fraud


The biometric de-duplication capabilities of Aadhaar and the account aggregation capability of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) could enable greater accessibility to loans and other financial services through French fintech, the identity system’s architect Nandan Nilekani says, according to The New Indian Express.

Nilekani was participating in a panel discussion titled ‘Why the future of fintech is French,’ and suggested France a leader in one type of services the Indian market needs more of.

The RBI is establishing a legal footing for Account Aggregators, which are non-bank financial companies that act as consent managers for financial data. Nilekani suggests that the service could enable fintechs from France and elsewhere to provide financial services to people without credit history.

An Indo-French cross-border incubator is also being established to help startups from both countries in a number of fields.

Expanded biometric GST registration recommended

Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration should include biometric authentication with a live photo, the Hindustan Times reports the GST Council’s law committee has suggested.

An anonymous source told the Times that an Aadhaar-like process for new registrations with identity document verification and biometric matching of a live photo could be implemented to prevent GST fraud.

Aadhaar-based digital KYC is already required for GST registration, however, ClearTax CEO and Founder Archit Gupta told the publication.

The new plan would be to also accept biometric checks at GST Seva Kendras and other physical locations.

An official told the Times there are around 1.8 to 1.9 million GST registrations each year, but only about 30 percent persist as businesses, while many of the others are created to make bogus claims.

The government has reportedly arrested 48 people including several accountants in cases of alleged GST fraud.

PVC Aadhaar cards offered

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched a new PVC card printed with the applicant’s Aadhaar details for Rs 50 (US$0.67), delivery included, LatestLY reports.

The PVC card may prove more durable than paper cards, and also has a digitally signed QR code, photograph, and demographic details. LatestLy also reports that it includes multiple security features.

The UIDAI also offers mAadhaar for mobile devices and eAadhaar, which are available for download using a registered mobile number.

The Quint, meanwhile, reports that the ‘Order Aadhaar Card’ service allows applicants to use face biometric authentication to order a copy through the UIDAI website.

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