Digital Payments Current Affairs

Tez: Google’s UPI-based digital payment service launched

Tech Giant Google’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based digital payment service Tez (meaning fast in Hindi) was launched by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

With this, Google become latest international giant to enter into India’s fast growing digital payment ecosystem.

Key Facts

Google Tez is standalone payments application, available on Android and iOS. The app can be used to pay for movie tickets, utility bills, and make other transactions online.  It supports several local languages including Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu and will work with 55 banks.

Google has partnered with Axis, HDFC Bank, ICICI, and State Bank of India (SBI) for backend processing. On security front, all transactions on Google Tez app are guarded by Tez Shield to detect fraud, prevent hacking, and verify identity.

Unified Payments Interface (UPI)

UPI is a payments protocol built by government-backed National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It facilitates the instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on the mobile platform using unique virtual address without putting details of card details, net banking, IFSC code, wallet password etc.

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Government covers 14 SC, ST, OBC and DNT scholarship schemes under Digital Payments

The Government has stated that 14 scholarship schemes for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) / Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes (DNTs) students come under Digital Payments Initiatives. This is expected to benefit 3.54 crore students across the country. As per the modalities of this initiative, all scholarship amount will be deposited in the bank accounts of the students.

Schemes for SCs

There will be a 60% Aadhaar seeding in SC student bank account. Educational Empowerment is carried out by virtue of scholarships, hostels for students, coaching facilities, capital for creation/upgradation of premises, institution etc. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment spends 54 % of its Budget on scholarships for Scheduled castes. In addition, the government has tasked each branch of public sector banks to handhold at least one SC/ST youth, as an entrepreneur, to generate more employment among the members of the community.

Scholarships

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal ministry for the implementation of seven different types of scholarships:

  • Post and Pre-Matric Scholarships;
  • Top Class Scholarship;
  • National Overseas Scholarships;
  • National Fellowship for Scheduled Castes administered by the UGC;
  • Pre-Matric Scholarship for Children of those engaged in unclean occupations;
  • Free Coaching for Scheduled Castes and OBCs (70: 30 ratio); and
  • Upgradation of merit.

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