The AEPS (Aadhaar Enabled Payments System) might be at the vanguard of elevating financial insertion in rural India. This move is done taking a signal from the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) that is boosting peer to peer and small-value settlements over the platform of smartphone.
Details shared by the nodal organization for digital transactions in India, the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), show that AEPS has increased to Rs 8,400 Crore more than 250% in value terms for the initial 6 Months of FY18. Last fiscal year, it had reported Rs 2,282 Crore. AEPS payments by the end of September have crossed a volume of 41.3 million, increasing 150% as compared to 16.3 Million clocked last year.
Bankers claim that with direct benefit transaction getting credited into accounts of the bank of users and quicker propagation of Aadhaar seeding, there is wider acceptance of AEPS-supported transactions in the nation, particularly in rural and semi-urban areas. “AEPS is a perfect replacement for utilization of debit card. Now with seeding of Aadhaar with government benefits coming directly as well as bank accounts going up, rural users are accepting this service very fast,” claimed head of new initiatives and digital at RBL Bank, Sujatha Mohan, to the media in an interview.
The private lender has arranged almost 8,000 terminals and has posted almost 3.6 Million non-financial and financial payments on its network of micro ATM. In addition, bankers claim that over 70% of these payments might be sourced from semi-urban as well as rural India.
One more important deployer of micro-ATMs for transactions of AEPS is IDFC Bank. It has by now set up 10,000 terminals too with 95% of them up till now being in unbanked areas. Micro ATMs are tiny terminals that are able to do cash deposit, balance enquiry, and cash withdrawal amongst a couple of other features related to payment. Instead of full-blown ATMs, banks discovered these terminals a more reasonably affordable alternative since they can be set up at a popular merchant location or a business correspondent point in a village without an ATM or a bank branch.