Saral Money, an innovative payment product which ensures that everyone with an Aadhar number automatically has an Aadhar-linked instant account in a bank, was launched by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday.

People would be able to purchase the Saral Money debit card across the counter from grocery shops and bank branches. It would facilitate instant account opening, simplified documentation and accessibility and reach.

The project has been launched in a collaboration by the UIDAI and five banks -- Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI, Indian Overseas Bank and the State Bank of India and Visa Card.

Under the scheme, an Aadhar number holder can purchase a card for a nominal fee to operate the account.

Ms. Dikshit said the new scheme would bring banking to the door step of the citizens. The Delhi Government, she said, has decided to implement cash transfer mode with the help of Aadhar numbers for its most ambitious food security programme, Delhi Annashri Yojna, which would be launched by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi here on December 15.

With Saral Money, the Government and other institutions would be able to send money to anyone using only an Aadhar number, irrespective of whether the beneficiary has a bank account. The beneficiary would then be able to withdraw the money from any ATM or any Micro ATM using biometric authentication provided by Aadhar.

UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani described the scheme as a truly innovative step. He said it would contribute substantially in making Delhi a role model in cash transfers.

Would enable Aadhar beneficiaries to have an instant bank account