12 Jan 2017 13:36 IST

800 merchants roped in for IDFC’s Aadhaar Pay

Bank aspires to have 30,000 ‘bank-in-a-box’ points by October 2018, says MD Rajiv Lall

Within just a fortnight of rolling out the country’s first Aadhaar-linked solution for cashless payments to merchants, IDFC Bank has roped in 800 merchants in 16 States to adopt the unique payments facility.

The States where merchants have been ‘on-boarded’ include Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.

Most of these 800 merchants will now be converted into business correspondents of this bank, Rajiv Lall, Founder Managing Director & CEO, IDFC Bank, told BusinessLine.

Once they turn into business correspondents, they will be able to deliver basic financial services to the people and not just the cashless purchase facility that is being provided under the ‘Aadhaar Pay’ model.

Aadhaar Pay is a unique solution that uses a retail merchant’s own Android smartphone to enable cashless payments.

Developed by IDFC Bank in association with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Aadhaar Pay is ‘unique’, as it does not compel a customer to use cards, download new applications, remember passwords, account numbers, set up virtual payment addresses, type detailed USSD codes to transfer money, or even have a phone to do cashless payments.

Retail expansion

Sharing the expansion strategy of the bank, Lall said the bank aspires to scale up its bank-in-a box (name for the solution that covers micro-ATM, Aadhaar Pay/ Aadhaar Pay Plus) points-of-presence to 30,000 by October 2018 (when the bank will complete three years of commercial operations) from 5,000 now.

This 30,000-level is besides the large number of merchants that the bank will bring on-board for its plain vanilla ‘IDFC Aadhaar Pay’, which is the solution for making cashless purchases from merchants.

A bank-in-a-box point of presence will typically provide a slew of financial services, including cashless purchase, cash withdrawal, cash deposit, transfer and remittance services, opening of savings account and getting a fixed deposit.

“Our focus will be on mass market, especially on the bottom 50 per cent of the market. We will also consciously adopt a strategy of thinner expansion in brick-and-mortar branches while placing larger emphasis on bank-in-a-box model for retail banking expansion,” Lall said.

IDFC Bank also aspires to expand its footprint into 25 States from the current 16 and would rely largely on this ‘bank-in-a-box’ model to achieve this objective, he said.