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The Government of India has launched Aadhaar Enabled Payment Services (AEPS) to provide the customers a simple, secure, and user – friendly mode of payment solution. This system was launched with the aim to empower a bank customer to use Aadhaar as his / her identity to access their Aadhaar enabled bank account.
With Aadhaar enabled payment system (AEPS) will allow the customers to avail services like cash withdrawal, cash deposit, interbank or intrabank fund transfer, balance enquiry and procure a mini – statement etc.
For this, the customers are required to link their bank account with their Aadhaar number with the bank or with the help of a banking official in order to complete the transactions using AEPS. AEPS allows people for bank – bank transactions at Pos (Micro ATM).
Usage of AEPS
Once you have linked your Aadhaar with your bank account, AEPS can be used in following ways:
- Balance inquiry
- Cash withdrawal
- Cash deposit
- Aadhaar to Aadhaar funds transfer
Benefits of AEPS
Aadhaar enabled payment system allows a person to get money from the bank account. And it has merits such as no signature or debit / credit card is required, it is also highly secured, it also offers portable micro ATM, it is also simple and easy.
People from rural areas will be benefitting from this service as this will provide huge relief and convenience to them. Hence, it is required to link your Aadhaar to your bank account. According to sources, nearly 1 crore individuals have linked their Aadhaar to their bank accounts. And in case you haven’t linked your Aadhaar to your account, you won’t be able to avail the AEPS services.
AEPS is one step closer to the digital Indian mission. The aim of the government is to empower the marginalised and excluded segments by promoting cashless transactions on various platforms.
AEPS application is developed with the association of Tata Consultancy Services that is available for Android-based smartphones in the initial stages.
Steps included in AEPS Transaction
- Visit a micro-ATM or the banking correspondent
- Provide your bank names and Aadhaar number
- Select your transaction type and complete the transaction
- On successful transaction, you will get a print slip
- Provide the fingerprint on the scanner
All the telecom operators have received instruction from the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) to provide the customers with the facility to track the status of their mobile SIM which are linked to the Aadhaar number, a step to guard against any unauthorized linking.
This decision is the result of some fraudulence which some retailers and agents of telecom companies allegedly misusing Aadhaar authentication facility to issue new SIMs or to re – verify mobile numbers other than that of the Aadhaar holders. It has instructed the operators to have “sufficient supervision” in order to avoid any unauthorized authentication transactions.
So, the telecom operators are required to come up with a mechanism which includes SMS – based facility that will both allow the subscribers to check whether their mobile number is linked with 12 digit unique identification numbers and also be informed about other mobile numbers issued or verified against their Aadhaar number.
The services will be provided to the customers through channels such as customer care number, email, web portal, SMS or app to report any unauthorised mobile number linked with their Aadhaar number.
According to the sources
One of the official of UIDAI recently also stated that
So far more than 1.2 billion residents have already enrolled for the Aadhaar – the unique 12 digit number which is backed by the fingerprints, iris scans, and certain other demographic details and this flagship programme by the government is considered to be the world’s largest biometric database.
Aadhaar has been made mandatory for almost all the other government official documents.
On 20th January, 2018, EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organization) said that it wants to put an end to multiple account numbers of an individual once the process of linking Aadhaar is complete.
Regarding the matter additional PF commissioner SB Sinha stated that “Aadhaar seeds and bank account linking will help do away with multiple provident fund accounts, once merger of accounts happens with the help of Aadhaar seeding”.
He also added that banking account seeded with Aadhaar will be trouble – free for the members to remotely manage accounts and for claim settlements.
In additions, on the seminar on provident fund which is organised by ICC, Regional PF Commissioner Navendu Rai stated that “there were 26 lakh regular contributing members in West Bengal at present, but the number of PF accounts issued from the state was about 70 lakhs”.
“On an average, one person has three PF accounts (in West Bengal) due to change in employment”.
As we know that Government of India have made the 12 digit mandatory with many other important official documents. One of those is bank accounts and the deadline to do the same has been set which is 31st March 2018. And the accounts which won’t be linked with bank accounts by this date would be “cease to be operational”.
RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has clarified that seeding of Aadhaar with bank accounts is mandatory under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules.
“Some news items have appeared in a section of the media quoting a reply to RTI application that Aadhaar number linkage with bank accounts is not mandatory. The Reserve Bank clarifies that, in applicable cases, linkage of Aadhaar number to bank account is mandatory under the Prevention of Money – Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 published in the Official Gazette on June 1, 2017. These rules statutory force and, as such, banks have to implement them without awaiting further instructions”.
To know how to link Aadhaar with your bank account, you can also read – Link your Aadhaar to your SBI Account
Much awaited hearing on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar cards resumes on 17th January 2018. A five – judge constitution bench which is headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra and four other judges Justice A.M Khanwilkar, Adarsh Kumar Sikri, D.Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan was scheduled to hear eight important cases, including constitutional validity of Aadhaar card, which is allegated that it violates an individual’s fundamental right to privacy.
From the petitioners’ side, Senior Supreme court lawyer, Shyam Divan appeared and argued in front of the five – judge bench that Aadhaar may cause death of citizens’ civil rights.
Divan said in the apex court that
In August 2017, a nine-judge bench of the apex court passed the historic judgement that Right to Privacy is a fundamental right as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
“Right to privacy is an integral part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty Guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution”.
Several Petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had also claimed it violated privacy rights.
Aadhaar card has threatened the privacy of the citizens time and again since the establishment of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number. Recently UIDAI had to put a hold on Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payment Banks as a result of allegations against the organization for using the e – KYC (Know Your Customer) based SIM verification process in order to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without their approbation.
To know more about it you can also read – UIDAI had Put an Interim Stay on Bharti Airtel from Conducting e – KYC
The apex court has also received several other petitions regarding the linkage of 12 – digit number with mobile phones, bank accounts and with other services, the last date for which was extended to March 31st,2018
To know more you can also read – Government extends deadlines of Aadhaar linking
This mandatory linkage of all these services and schemes has also been opposed by some of the petitioners in the top court and termed as “illegal and unconstitutional”.
To secure the fraudulent and protect the usage of 12 digit unique identification numbers, UIDAI introduced a new concept of ‘Virtual ID’ which Aadhaar card holders can generate from its website and give for various purposes which include SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12 – digit biometric ID.
As we know the government has mandated Aadhaar with all the government official documents and seems to be on its way to become the most authentic identity proof.
Recently facebook which is an online social media and social networking platform has asked new users to use their Aadhaar at the time of creating a new account. Facebook is testing new feature which encourages those opening new accounts to submit their names as in their Aadhaar cards.
At the time of submitting the name in order to create a new account in facebook the prompt by reads
The testing was first spotted by users on Reddit and Twitter. However, not everyone sees this prompt at the time of opening a new account. As per the reports, Facebook says this is a new feature and only a few of the users would see this and it is also an optional prompt and users are not required to enter the name on their Aadhaar card.
It further says
It is also important to note that facebook is asking for “Aadhaar name” and not “Aadhaar number”, hence, it can hardly be seen as something to evoke concern over privacy. However, it has successfully gained attention since the increasingly mandatory use of Aadhaar for various services has been opposed by several activists.
The US based company has clarified in a blog post that
It has also added that the goal of the move was to help new users understand how to sign up to Facebook with their real name and connect with their friends and family.
This move of the company is seen as part of company’s efforts to check the increasing number of fake accounts on the platform.
Also note that, facebook is not the first private agency to prompt Aadhaar. Many other internet companies are now making this unique identity card mandatory for the customers to avail the services. One of the leading e – commerce site; Amazon has asked customers to upload their Aadhaar details in order to track lost packages. It also says that it is a necessary means of authenticating customer identity.
To know more about it, you can also read ‘Now Aadhaar is mandatory for customers to avail internet services’ by visiting https://rupeenomics.com/now-aadhaar-is-mandatory-for-customers-to-avail-internet-services/
India is considered to be the second largest market for facebook after the US with a user base of over 240 million. On the other hand, with 119 crore residents already enrolled for the Aadhaar—a unique 12 – digit number backed by fingerprints, iris scans and certain demographic details—the programme today is the world’s largest biometric database.