With Aadhaar Payment, a mobile application that allows users to pay with their fingerprints, the Indian government is hoping to promote the widespread adoption of cashless transactions. Since 2009, UIDAI (the Unique Identification Authority of India) has been working to attribute a unique 12-digit code called an Aadhaar number to all of India’s citizens, which is linked to biometric data for fingerprint, iris and face recognition.
As it stands, 1.1 billion Indians now have an Aadhaar and only 100 million have yet to be registered. With Aadhaar Payment, the idea is that Indians can link their bank accounts to their fingerprints and thereafter pay traders equipped with a biometric reader for goods and services, which costs 2000 rupees (around €30), with a scan of their finger.
For the moment, the application, which is scheduled to release this week, is limited to Android smartphones. India is hoping that all Aadhaar numbers will be linked to bank accounts before 2017.