Technology

Linking Aadhaar with digital wallets: It's not all black and white!

Implementation of the Aadhaar-link up across various digital wallets has got users in a fix, but there’s some sunshine too

Digital sustenance was familiarised or rather enforced upon the common man, which is still one of the foremost advantages to emerge out of demonetisation and ATMs perennially running out of cash (which still continues in major parts of Hyderabad). The dependence on digital wallets henceforth has been immense. PayTM’s first-mover advantage in this arena was of great benefit to the firm but the list of its counterparts are impressively long too-Freecharge, Airtel Money, Idea Money, Amazon Pay, Ola Money, Lazy Pay and the latest entrant Tez by another major Google has brought a lot of renewed excitement into this space. However, nearly all of them have put up a united front in pushing their alert button hard to customers on linking wallets with Aadhaar, even when the March deadline seemed a fair distance away. And now, users aren’t even given the benefit of choice if they’re to add cash into their wallets — the KYC enforcement has put many users in a spot of bother.

Some haziness

Even as the haziness surrounding the security norms of the Aadhaar-link up prevails, most of the wallets have brought in a series of tough-to-resist cashbacks and offers to lure the user into parting with his/her KYC number. PayTM now provides a voucher facility for those who wouldn’t want to force the link-up, however the simplicity surrounding money transfers cease to exist anymore. PayTM users have an advantage of adding money through their Uber accounts — which still is oblivious to the Aadhaar-drama. Amazon Pay has time and again induced users with gift vouchers for every minimum sum they add on to the wallet, the most recent one being the ₹100 flat cashback to an addition of ₹300. Ola Money and Airtel Money have been on the forefront to provide temporary monetary advantages to those who adhere to the KYC with similar offers too.

Linking Aadhaar with digital wallets: It's not all black and white!

To fall for the trap or not is something the user has to decide. Another way to look at it is the inevitability of the link-up — just that it has come earlier than needed. Most of these majors play up with the fact that there’s little else choice.

Majors insisting Aadhaar tie-up/ authorised ID proofs
  • Ola Money, PayTM, Amazon Pay, Airtel Money
  • Others who do without it
  • Lazy Pay, Tez
  • Wallets that a give an option to avail/not avail
  • Freecharge
  • Other wallets which have shut shop
  • PayUMoney, Bookmyshow wallet

Although the Aadhaar tie-up here is to ensure accountability to all the purchases, why is anonymity a tough bargain? ‘Why would a regular citizen who may use the wallets merely for mobile recharges’ even bother about accountability? It’s something they come prepared with when they enter the online space. With/without the link-up too, a transaction is recorded on the digital wallet for future reference. Another option that majors can consider is to involve the link-up is with purchases of higher order, where the danger surrounding authenticity/accountability can sometimes be high.

The other side

An advantage that these moves have brought in-is the trust of Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-oriented purchases, which involves a unique number authorised by a bank account holder. Though the KYC connection still exists with the bank, Tez, the Google-based payment app has made impressive use of the facility. That a major like Google is taking this forward has ensured a trust factor unlike the other apps. The user-friendly interface coupled with its right timing into the market will very likely give a tough competition to PayTM in the coming months.

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(What are your concerns in linking your Aadhaar number with digital wallets? Do comment in the article and the best remarks will be published seperately.)

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 1:25:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/linking-aadhaar-with-digital-wallets-its-not-all-black-and-white/article22946984.ece

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