Every Merchant Can Become a Walking ATM With This App Claims This Indian Think Tank CEO

It is very important for micro, small and medium enterprises to adopt BHIM Aadhaar says Amitabh Kant.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Amitabh Kant, the Indian Administrative Service officer who is serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Niti Aayog, the policy think tank of the Government of India, believes all businesses must transact digitally.

Kant, who calls himself the driver of India's popular campaigns Make in India and Startup India, believes in a Digital India and is among the most active members of NITI Aayog.

In an interview with Entrepreneur India, Amitabh Kant said for India's growth and progress and for their own progress, it is very important for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt BHIM Aadhaar.

BHIM Aadhaar Pay is a government-backed digital payments mobile application based on Unified Payment Interface. The app is expected to process digital payments by the help of thumb impressions that are registered for Aadhaar users and are linked to consumers' bank accounts.

BHIM or Bharat Interface for Money is an initiative of the Indian government aimed at increasing the reach of Indians towards becoming a fully-digitized nation.

"Every Merchant Can Become a Walking ATM With This App"

The government aims to enroll up to 20 lakh merchants on BHIM Aadhaar Pay by September. Kant claims that BHIM Aadhaar has on boarded 7.26 lakh merchants in the first 13 days of launch.

Batting for active adoption by Indian MSMEs, Kant said BHIM Aadhaar will drive merchant both P2P and merchant transactions in due course. "Every merchant can become a walking ATM with this app," Kant said at the MindMine Summit.

The government has been promoting BHIM-Aadhaar Pay as more secure than debit or credit cards as it aims to bring more and more Indians to use the application and also providing incentives to merchants for accepting payment via Aadhaar. Merchants will not be charged a merchant discount rate and are expected to receive incentive of 0.25 per cent on each transaction.

India's digital drive has been dominated by private players, the biggest being Alibaba-backed Paytm, Kunal Bahl-backed Freecharge and MobiKwik among other smaller players.

In an interview with Entrepreneur, MobiKwik's co-founder Upasana Taku said she expects overall digital payments to contribute 35-40 percent of total transactions in the economy by 2018 and at least 4-5 players to survive in the market post consolidation.

The demonetization drive by Indian government that led to a wipe out of INR 1000 notes from the banking system and the introduction of new INR 2000 notes is seen as the boldest move to transition India more a cash-dependent country to a less-cash or cashless economy.

Kant said security of the BHIM-Aadhaar Pay has been taken care and merchants can use the application without any fear.