India-based IDFC Bank has launched an e-payment app, IDFC Aadhaar Pay, developed in association with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

This allows merchants to accept electronic payments via the app using just a smartphone and a Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) certified Aadhaar biometric reader.

Customers who’ve linked their Aadhaar (a 12-digit unique identity number issued to India’s citizens) to their bank account, benefit as they don’t need to download a new payment application, don’t need to remember passwords, and don’t need a smartphone. They can pay the merchant by providing their bank’s name and Aadhaar number, and validate the transaction using just their fingerprints.

IDFC Aadhaar Pay

“IDFC Aadhaar Pay is a breakthrough in technology for cashless payments. It will enable citizens in the deepest corners of the country to participate in India’s digital movement, even those who do not own a phone but want to pay digitally,” states Dr. Rajiv Lall, founder MD and CEO, IDFC Bank. “People only need to have a bank account and their Aadhaar linked to it.”

However, the app cannot simply be downloaded by a merchant from an app store. Merchants are onboarded by the bank after meeting a compliance requirement: the submission and verification of the electronic know your client (eKYC) forms and documents. Once this is done, an SMS is sent to the merchant with a link to download the IDFC Aadhaar Pay app on any basic smartphone. All of this, IDFC Bank says, takes just an hour.

By Soumik Roy, editorial contributor to Banking Technology