Amid cash crunch due to demonetisation, a more user friendly and simple version of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) used on feature mobile phones for making cashless payments will be rolled out in next 15 days.
“NCPI is already working to make USSD (*99#) very simple, convenient, robust and to link it with UPI. So in another 15-20 days, we will have a very new version of USSD with many strong and robust easy to handle features,” NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant told reporters in a press conference in New Delhi.
At present there are about 400 million feature mobile handset users in the country. The move will push the digital transaction in a big way particularly in rural areas where penetration of smart phone and Internet is skewed.
Kant, who is member of a panel with chief ministers of different political parties on board to examine and promote the use of digital payment systems across the country, was talking to the media after the committee members meeting with RBI and heads of various banks in Mumbai.
Besides, the panel is also working out ways to achieve inter-operatibility of unified payment interface of various banks. This will enable account holders to use their banks’ UPI with a subscribers of other banks’ UPI for making and receiving cashless payments.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who is the Convener of the panel said, “There was an issue of inter-operatibiity of UPI of various banks in today’s meeting. We are working on inter-operatibilty of UPI of different banks.”
Naidu also said that Aadhaar enabled payment system is a low hanging fruit for moving toward digital economy.
Under the Aadhaar enabled payment system, the consumer can make payment using their 12 digit unique identity number with biometric authentication bypassing debit/credit cards, pins and passwords required for a transaction.