The National Payments Corporation of India launched two new services on Wednesday, an Aadhaar-based Remittance Service (ABRS) and a Query Service on Aadhaar Mapper (QSAM).
NPCI, which began functioning in 2009, was established with government encouragement as a hub for all electronic retail payment systems.
ABRS has been launched with Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Mehsana Urban Co-operative Bank and Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank. The service will enable transfer of funds by using an Aadhaar number. The QSAM service will enable mapping one's status by using an Aadhaar number.
"We have crossed three crore (30 million) Aadhaar-linked bank accounts. In the next year or so, we will see at least 10 crore Aadhaar-linked bank accounts," said Nandan Nilekani, chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). "What has been launched today with NPCI essentially shows how it is such a simple thing to send money to somebody. Aadhaar has many uses and you will see more and more of these uses becoming obvious."
Referring to the Bill approved by the cabinet on Tuesday to legally empower UIDAI, he said: "UIDAI will become a statutory body and it will be able to regulate all the various activities of UIDAI. UIDAI has the highest standards of security, privacy and encryption and will continue to do that. It is one more step of putting the organisation on an institutional footing and we are very happy that the bill has been passed by the Cabinet."
The Supreme Court is to have a final hearing on October 22 for a batch of petitions from the Union government and oil companies to modify its earlier order which had restrained the government from making the Aadhaar card compulsory for transfer of social welfare benefits.
"When we started the process (of issuing cards), we had said that by 2014, we will have 60 crore Aadhaars. I am comfortable that goal will be met," said Nilekani.