MeitY Current Affairs - 2020

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Prime Minister launches BHIM-Aadhaar platform

Prime Minister has launched BHIM-Aadhaar platform from Nagpur. BHIM-Aadhaar platform is the merchant interface of the BHIM App that has been launched for making digital payments using the Aadhaar platform. BHIM App was launched in December 2016 to provide a one-stop solution for all digital payments. The App created a new world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads within four months since its launch.

the newly launched BHIM-Aadhaar platform will help people to pay digitally using their biometric data like thumb imprint on a merchant’s biometric enabled device like a smart phone or a biometric reader. The App needs to be installed only by merchants and they need to connect their smartphones to the biometric scan machine to accept the payments from customers. The customers who want to pay using this app needs to link Aadhaar number and biometic fingerprint to complete a transaction.

Significance

  • The most significant aspect of this BHIM-Aadhaar platform is that it enables all those citizens without access to smart phones, internet, debit/credit cards to make digital transactions.
  • It eliminates the need to pay the fee currently being charged by the private card companies such as ‘MasterCard’ and ‘Visa’.
  • For merchants, it would eliminate the need for long waiting period and hassle of procuring a new POS (Point of Sale) machine.
  • For customers, it eliminates the hassle of remembering passwords, account numbers, or setting up of virtual payment addresses and using USSD codes to transfer money.

Offer schemes

Prime Minister has also launched two new offers rewarding BHIM users. Both the schemes will be administered by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and implemented by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

BHIM – Referral Bonus Scheme

Under this scheme, both the existing BHIM users and the new users will get a cash bonus credited directly to their account. This scheme incentivizes the existing BHIM users to refer new users to BHIM. Upon completion of minimum 3 unique successful transactions amounting to Rs 50 to any 3 unique users, the bonus will be paid to both the referrer and the referee.

BHIM – Cash back Scheme

Under this scheme, merchants will get cash back on every transaction using BHIM. The merchants can get cashback of up to Rs 300 per month, with each merchant eligible to win up to Rs 1800 in 6 months.

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Government issues draft rules on e-wallet payments

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has issued draft Information Technology (Security of Prepaid Payment Instruments) Rules 2017 for Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) company or e wallet firms.

The draft rules seek to ensure integrity, security and confidentiality of electronic payments made through PPIs. It covers an entire spectrum for protecting consumer information, especially financial data.

Key Features of the Rules
  • Definition of e-PPI issuer: Person operating a payment system issuing prepaid payment instruments to individuals or organisations under the aegis of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • Information security policy: Mandatory for e-PPI issuers to develop an information security policy that ensures that the systems operated by them are secure.
  • Privacy policy and terms: Mandatory for e-PPIs to publish on their websites and mobile applications both their ‘privacy policy’ and terms for use of their payment systems.
  • Risk assessment: Mandatory for e-PPI to carry out risk assessment to spot security risks and also ensure adequate due diligence is done before issuing PPIs.
  • Chief grievance officer: e-PPIs should appoint a chief grievance officer with his contact details prominently displayed on website. The officer must act upon any complaint within 36 hours and close it in a month’s time.
  • End-to-end encryption e-PPIs shall ensure that end-to-end encryption is applied to safeguard the data exchanged. It shall retain data relating to electronic payments only till necessary.
  • CERT-In’s responsibility: CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) shall notify the categories of incidents and breaches that are required to be reported to it mandatorily.
What are Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs)?

PPIs are methods that facilitate purchase of goods and services against the value stored on such instruments. The value stored on such instruments represents the value paid for by the holder, by debit, by cash to a bank account or by credit card. These prepaid instruments can be issued as online wallets, mobile accounts, mobile wallets, smart cards, magnetic stripe cards, internet accounts, paper vouchers and any such instruments used to access the prepaid amount.

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