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After launching the RuPay debit card, National Payments Corp (NPCI) is set to come out with its virtual form in the next few months, a move that will give further push to smartphone-based transactions. "We are planning to go for pilot of a virtual RuPay card over the next 4-5 months," NPCI Managing Director and Chief Executive A P Hota said here today. NPCI is the nodal agency for all retail payment systems under the Jan Dhan scheme. The physical plastic RuPay card carries a 16-digit number. Under the virtual form, there will be no need of a physical card and a transaction can be done with the help of the 16-digit number alone. The initiative will enable all account-holders send and receive money from their smartphones with a single identifier which may include the Aadhaar number, mobile number or virtual payment address without entering any bank account information. Average value of the card payment system per head as on date was Rs 1,500 and an average remittance stands at Rs 2,500. Under the new virtual system, the amount would be much less and may include school fee and grocery payments, he said. The proposed payments banks are likely to provide this virtual card facility from the beginning, Hota said. "The specifications standards are now available for payments banks and hence it is a great opportunity for them." Around Rs 8,000 crore worth of transactions are taking place through IMPS (immediate payment service) per month.
What we are doing now is just putting another extra layer on the already existing system so as to make transaction more easy, Hota explained. Currently, only around 20 per cent of the total transactions are happening through IMPS and hence NPCI is working on further simplification of the facility so as to make it more popular in future, he added. Talking about authentication system for the virtual RuPay card, former Chairman of UIDAI Nandan Nilekani said "with everybody having cellphones, going forward the single- factor authentication can be the cellphone, replacing the physical cards." "Later, Aadhaar-based authentication will come on mobile phone in 12-18 months. Second factor of authentication will be the Aadhaar number. We hope millions of transactions to take place through this mode in the country in days to come," Nilekani said.