National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India, has taken up a project to work with State Bank of India and Utkal Grameen Bank in transforming one of the panchayats in Odhisha as less-cash or „cash-lite‟ panchayat. The Panchayat of Karangamal, in the district of Naupada in Boden Block has been identified for the purpose.
The panchayat comprises of five villages where a week long campaign has started to spread digital awareness. NPCI‟s initiative will boost the digital payments ecosystem through various modes and channels of payments such as USSD based *99#, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), RuPay card and Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AePS). NPCI has partnered with MicroSave, an international consulting firm for digital financial inclusion to design the program of transforming villages.
Mr. A. P. Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI says, “India is currently witnessing a Digital Revolution. We have been credited for platforms like IMPS, AEPS, Rupay Cards, *99#, UPI and BHIM which are a few grounded innovations in payments space. We would like to study the adoption level at villages vis-à-vis towns and cities. This is also an experiment as to whether it is possible to shift the payment behaviour by a focused campaigns in a village.
” Mr. Anil Kumar Gupta, Associate Director, MicroSave says, “Adoption of payments by rural masses is a challenging task. It requires meticulous planning, awareness, and demonstration for the benefit of people. It requires complete support by banks and various stakeholders on the ground. With right approach, the uptake and the results can be magical”.
NPCI has taken a forward looking approach and is implementing a workable model which can be adopted by others in the country towards making villages cash-less / cash-lit