India announces incentive schemes to boost digital payments

digital payment and technology
In a bid to boost digital payments, the government on Thursday launched two incentive schemes for both consumers and merchants, said Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

For consumers, there is the Lucky Grahak Yojana that would reward consumers through a daily as well as a weekly draw on transactions worth Rs 50 to Rs 3,000, with a maximum reward up to Rs 1 lakh.

The Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana, meant for merchants, would have a maximum reward of Rs 50,000, Kant said.

The schemes would commence from December 25, Christmas Day, and would conclude on April 14 – birth anniversary of Bhim Rao Ambedkar — next year with mega awards, Kant said.

“Following demonetisation, there has been a spurt in the digital payments across the country and both the volume and amount of money transacted through digital methods has seen manifold increase since November 9.

“Our objective is to make digital payments a mass movement,” he said.

Giving details of the schemes, Kant said, “Lucky Grahak Yojana would have daily reward of Rs 1,000 to be given to 15,000 lucky consumers for a period of 100 days. Besides, there would be weekly prizes worth Rs one lakh, Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 for consumers who use digital mode of payments.”

Only consumers using UPI, USSD, AEPS and RuPay cards would be included in the draw and consumers paying through private credit cards and digital wallets would not be included for the time being, Kant said.

“The Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana would have prizes for merchants for all digital transactions conducted at merchant establishments. There would be weekly prizes worth Rs 50,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 2,500,” he said.

Besides, there would be a mega lucky draw on April 14, 2017 where the consumers would win three mega prizes worth Rs 1 crore, Rs 50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh for digital transactions between November 8, 2016 and April 13, 2017.

There would be three mega prizes for merchants too worth Rs 50 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 5 lakh for digital transactions between the same period, said Kant.

All transactions between consumers and merchants; consumers and government agencies and all Aadhar Enabled Payments (AEPS) transactions will be considered for the incentive scheme. Business to Business (BtoB) transactions are also included.

The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) is the implementing agency for the scheme.

“The primary aim of these schemes is to incentivize digital transactions so that electronic payments are adopted by all sections of the society, especially the poor and the middle class,” he said.

The winners shall be identified through a random draw of the eligible Transaction Ids(which are generated automatically as soon as the transaction is completed) by software to be especially developed by NPCI for this purpose.

A person can win a prize for a maximum of three times, Kant said.

He said that the transactions would be safe as there would be two-factor authentication for each transaction.

“The NPCI has been directed to ensure a technical and security audit of the same to ensure that the technical integrity of the process is maintained,” he said.

The estimated expenditure on the first phase of the scheme (up to April 14, 2017) is likely to be Rs 340 crore.

“It is time to organise the unorganised… We cannot afford to have a parallel economy worth trillions of dollars as India grows to be a $10 trillion economy,” Kant said.

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