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News updates on digital payment promotion

DigiVaarta launched

DigiVaarta has been launched with the express intention of spreading awareness on DigiDhan, and also to spread popularity of BHIM’s barcode-based merchant payment mode with merchants and traders at large. This launch has two components.

  • An SMS application which operates from NIC’s SMS Gateway on a special Short-code service allotted for this purpose by DoT with the number “14444”. Citizens will receive SMS messages which are pre-approved by experts and the response messages will be made available for further action, analysis and research. The Government proposes initially to pay for the citizen’s response so as to promote citizen’s engagement and make the awareness program completely free for the citizen.
  • A Mobile application version of DigiVaarta, which can be accessed and used by smart phone users. This app can perform many more function beyond chat, offers audio-video tutorials etc.

The initiative aims to enable citizen government dialogue and engage citizens in educational and outreach programmes. With the mobile phone as its interface, DigiVaarta’s content and communication style is interactive and adaptive. The same message can be used to interact with both smart phone and feature phone users. It can engage the user over multiple channels in a 2-way interaction, using different content styles (stories, images, videos, discussions and polls) in different languages. DigiVaarta has been launched to spread awareness amongst the common public on digital payment topics such as BHIM, Aadhar Enabled Payment Systems (AePS), Bharat QR, and Security Do’s and Don’ts to begin with.

Source : PIB

BHIM Incentive scheme revised and extended

The incentive schemes viz. BHIM – Cash back and Referral bonus that were launched on April 14, 2017, has now been revised and extended for the period 1.4.2018 to 31.03.2019.

Source : MeitY

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) to enable Digital Payments in Post Offices by April 2018

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) Expansion Programme continues to make brisk progress and a nation-wide roll-out is scheduled beginning April 2018. No decision has been taken to revise the timelines as reported in some sections of the media on Tuesday, 06th February 2018. Once the proposed expansion is completed, IPPB will be providing the largest financial inclusion network in the country, covering both urban as well as rural hinterland with ability to provide digital payment services at the doorstep with the help of Postmen and Gramin Dak Sewaks (GDS). IPPB will also enable more than 17 crore active account-holders of Post Office Savings Bank to make interoperable digital payments including the benefit of NEFT, RTGS, UPI and bill payment services. Additionally, the IPPB will enable acceptance of digital payments across post offices in the country in line with the digital payments initiative of the government.

Source : PIB

Telangana launches official e-wallet for digital payments

Telangana became the first state in the country to launch official e-wallet. The state launched the T-Wallet, the official digital wallet of the state, offering anytime anywhere platform for digital payments with no additional charge for the citizens.

Using this platform, the citizens not only can make payments to government and private organisations towards various services but also receive the benefits from government like pensions, scholarships and MGNREGS wages.

Source : Financial Express

Digital Payment Revolution : Facts & Figures

  • Lucky Grahak Yojana and DigiDhan Vyapar Yojana launched on 25.12.2016
    • 100 Digi Dhan Melas held in 100 cities all over the country.
    • 100 day long information, education and communication campaign led by NITI Aayog to make digital payments a mass movement in India.
    • At least 15,000 institutions have gone cashless across just these 100 rural and urban cities across each one of the 27 states and 7 UTs.
    • With a turnout of over 15 lakh from cities, small towns and villages, the melas have enabled lakhs to open new bank accounts as well as create new Aadhaar cards.
    • Rs.258 crore of prize money won by 16 lakh winners, including customers and merchants belonging to different corners of the country and from varied walks of life.
    • The lucky winners of the Mega Draw felicitated by the Prime Minister in Nagpur.
  • BHIM App and QR Codes launched
  • BHIM App has already created a new world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads in just four months since its launch in December, 2016.
  • India has seen an unprecedented increase in number of transactions made using several user-friendly digital payment methods viz. UPI, USSD, AePS.
    • Volume of all digital transactions increased by about 23 times with 63,80,000 digital transactions for a value of Rs. 2425 crore in March 2017 compared to 2,80,000 digital transactions worth Rs.101 crore till November 2016.
    • Aadhaar Enabled Payments have increased from 2.5 crore in November 2016 to over 5 crore in March 2017.
    • Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transactions have also increased from 3.6 crore to 6.7 crore during the same period.
  • BHIM-Aadhaar, the merchant interface of the BHIM App
    • It will pave the way for making digital payments by using the Aadhaar platform.
    • Any Indian citizen can pay digitally using their biometric data like their thumb imprint on a merchants’ biometric enabled device which could be smart phone having a biometric reader.
    • Any citizen without access to smart phones, internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM Aadhaar platform.
    • Already, 27 major banks are now on board with 7.15 lakh merchants so that they can start accepting payments using BHIM Aadhaar.
      • Total Onboarding (including syndicate update) : 7.15 lakhs, Transactions: 12.62 lakh
      • Aadhar:1.75 Lakh
      • BHIM/UPI 4.79 lakh
      • QR Code:1.68 lakh
    • BHIM – Cash back and Referral Bonus Schemes
      • To ensure that the culture of digital payments permeates down to the grassroots.
      • Under the Referral bonus scheme both the existing user who refers BHIM and the new user who adopts BHIM would get a cash bonus credited directly to their account.
      • Under the Cashback scheme the merchants will get a cash back on every transaction using BHIM.
      • Both schemes are to be administered by MEITY and implemented by NPCI.
      • Outlay of Rs. 495 crore for a period of six months.
  • 75 Townships declared Less Cash Townships
    • In order to achieve the target of 2500 crore digital transactions during the current financial year, the Prime Minister announced about 75 townships spread all over India as ‘less-cash townships’.
    • A less-cash township is one where the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure is complete, all the families in the township are covered under training programs.
    • Selected townships on the basis of third party assessment by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)
    • Townships with more than 80% of the total number of transactions being done through digital modes of payments during the review period are included in this list.
    • These townships are likely to generate over 1.5 lakh digital transactions every day thereby leading to about 5.5 crore digital transactions in a year.

Source: PIB

NPCI, Mastercard, Visa develop Bharat QR

Bharat QR, a world first interoperable and low cost acceptance solution, developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Master card, and Visa.

Bharat QR was devised based on the direction set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September 2016 and its Payments Vision 2018 , which outlines innovation, interoperability, and security as the three pillars to facilitate India’s transition to a less – cash society.

Bharat QR has three key benefits. First, consumers will not need to scan different QR codes at the same merchant provided by the different payment networks. Second, merchants will only need to display one QR code at the storefront or through the acquiring bank’s mobile application. Third, the underlying specification for Bharat QR can be implemented in other countries to deliver a globally interoperable solution.

Source : NPCI

No additional levy on use of cards at petrol stations says Petroleum Minister

MoS (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan said neither the customers nor petrol pump dealers will bear additional charges on digital transactions at petrol stations. He said that the Government had issued guidelines in February 2016 stating that the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) charge will not be passed on to the consumers and that the stakeholders will take appropriate steps to absorb the MDR charges.

The Government has stepped in after the issue on levy on digital transaction at petrol stations was raised by association of petrol pump dealers. Shri Pradhan said that there will be no additional levy on digital transaction at petrol stations even after 13 January, 2017. He also said that the Petrol pump transaction fee is a business model between the banks & oil marketing companies which they will resolve.

Source : PIB

LPG customers to now get a discount for on-line payment of LPG refill

Oil Marketing Companies, viz IndianOil, BPCL & HPCL are now offering an upfront discount of Rs 5/- on every LPG refill to all LPG customers who will book and pay for their LPG cylinders online. Customers can make payment through existing online modes i.e net banking, credit & debit cards at the time of web-booking their refills.

Customers will get the discounted amount displayed on their screens – i.e. net amount i.e refill RSP minus (-) incentive amount of Rs.5/- which they need to pay for their refill transactions. The net discounted amount will also be shown on the cash memo accompanying the home-delivery of the LPG cylinder.

Under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, it the endeavour of all Oil Marketing Companies aim to encourage consumers to increasingly shift to such payment modes through digital platforms to achieve the objective of no-cash or less-cash based transactions. The incentive will encourage more and more LPG consumers to go for cashless mode transactions.

Source : PIB

Measures for Promoting Digital Payments & Creation of Less-Cash Economy: Benefit of lower rate of Income Tax on digital turnover for small businesses.

The benefit of lower rate of Income-tax on digital turnover for small businesses up to a turnover of Rs.2,00,000,00 (Rupees Two Crore), announced by the Government yesterday under Section 44AD of the Income-tax Act, 1961 is a huge benefit given to businessmen for promoting digital/banking transactions. The benefits given are explained in the following paragraph.

If a trader makes his transactions in cash on a turnover of Rs.Two Crore, then his income under the presumptive scheme will then be presumed to be Rs. 16 lakhs @ 8% of turnover.  After availing of Rs. 1.5 lakhs of deduction under Section 80C, his total tax liability will be Rs. 2,67,800/-. However, if he shifts to 100% digital transactions under the new announcement made, his profit will be presumed to be at Rs. 12 lakhs @ 6% of turnover, and after availing of Rs. 1.5 lakhs under Section 80C,  his tax liability now will be only Rs.1,44,200/. Here, digital transaction includes payment received by Cheque or through any other digital means. In the following example, the benefit obtained by traders and small businesses is explained in 3 different scenarios:


100% Cash Turnover (Rs.)

60% Digital Turnover (Rs.)

100% Digital Turnover (Rs.)

Total Turnover

2 Crore

2 Core

2 Crore

Cash Turnover

2 Crore

0.80 Crore


Digital Turnover


1.2 Crore

2 Crore

Profit on Cash Turnover @ 8%

16 Lakh

6.40 Lakh


Profit on Digital turnover @ 6%


7.20 Lakh

12 Lakh

Total Profit

16 Lakh

13.60 Lakh

12 Lakh

Deduction u/s 80C

1.5 Lakh

1.5 Lakh

1.5 Lakh

Taxable Income

14.50 Lakh

12.10 Lakh

10.50 Lakh

Tax Payable




Tax Saving






Apart from making a tax saving of almost 46% by migrating to banking mode, the small businesses would be able to build their books which may also help them get bank loans easily.  Also, if transactions are carried out through banking channels, then anybody having annual turnover up to Rs. 66 lakhs will have zero tax liability after availing the benefit of Section 80C, after amendment of this new rate structure.

Source : PIB

DigiShala DD channel launched to promote digital payments

DigiShala, a free Doordarshan DTH channel has been launched to educate and inform the people about the various modes of digital payments. The channel will help people understand the use of unified payments interface (UPI), USSD, aadhaar-enabled payments system, electronic wallets, debit and credit cards.

Door Darshan (DD) Free Dish reaches to around 2 to 2.5 crore families, mostly in rural areas and people from poor background. The DigiShala is an education and non-commercial TV channel on DD Free Dish with aim to:

  • Impart education related to the digital payment ecosystem, its tools, benefits and processes
  • Inform and educate citizens about Digital India - cashless, faceless and paperless
  • Encourage citizens especially in rural and semi urban areas to use digital payments as well as other products and services offered by Digital India

DigiShala Subscription Details

  • Free to Air (FTA) Channel with receiving frequency: 11590 MHz
  • Satellite/Location: GSAT 15 (DD Direct DTH), 93.5 degree East
  • Broadcasted nationally on DD Free Dish DTH service
  • affordable service without any subscription fees
  • DigiShala TV Channel is also available on channel no 2032 on Dish TV (of Zee Group)

DigiShala Programme Portolio

Range of educational programmes on Digital India in multiple regional languages Sessions with focus on:

  • Step by step demos of making digital payments using UPI, USSD, Aadhaar, e-Wallets, cards etc
  • Talk shows and panel discussions with experts
  • Case studies on business transformation using digital payments
  • Information about products and services under the Digital India programme

To view the Programme Schedule of DigiShala TV Channel, click here.

Source : Cashless India website

Digi Dhan Abhiyan

Digi Dhan Abhiyan is a Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) campaign to promote cashless transactions. The campaign aims to enable every citizen, small trader and merchant to promote digital payment in their every day financial transactions.

As part of the campaign, workshops and awareness drives have been organised across the country to promote cashless transaction.

Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan (VISAKA) of MHRD

The `Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan’, an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, aims to actively engage the youth/ students of Higher Education Institutions to encourage and motivate all payers and payees to use a digitally enabled cashless economic system for transfer of funds.

Through the VISAKA web portal, students and teachers of higher institutions can register as volunteers and upload their achievements periodically. Major achievement will be acknowledged and commended.

Source : VISAKA portal

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