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Kerala may be leading the protest against the way Modi government is trying to establish an era of cashless economy, but Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant's prediction that debit credit cards and point of sale (POS) machines would become redundant in India by 2020 may be proved true here. The state government has almost completed the development of a mobile app to facilitate online payment of fees, fines and taxes to various government departments and treasury.

The app, developed along the lines of Paytm by state IT department with the technical assistance of National Payments Corporation of India, would enable citizens to carry out cash transactions with government, irrespective of where they maintain accounts.

The app would be ready for launch by April. Sources said the Android and iPhone versions of the app would be launched after rigorous security checks.

Though Kerala has made major strides in the e-governance sector, payment through creditdebit cards to government departments is possible only if the payee holds the debit card of less than 10 banks.Credit cards are not welcome and most new generation banks are not in the list of banks empaneled by government agencies.

Government authorities said that nine banks - mostly nationalized or those with comparatively lesser branches in the state - have agreed to receive government payments without service charge and they were empanelled by government depart ments. Since new generation banks demand service charges, they did not figure in the list of banks through which people can make payments to government.

"Only less than 15% of the fees and fines are paid online. May be a majority are concerned about the possibility of hidden charges at tached to card payments," said a senior official with the motor vehicles department.

"State IT Mission has almost completed the development of the app. After necessary testing, it would be ready for launch in a few months. The objective is to establish a computer as well as mobile-based mechanism that would help both the public and government to send and receive payments without additional charge," said IT secretary M Sivasankar.

"People skip digital transactions as additional charges are levied by banks for payment of fees and bills through debitcredit cards. There are agencies that stand between banks and customers by managing credit debit cards and they decide on service charge. There is no such issue if the money in your account is credited to any other account using net banking. The mobile and computerbased application being developed by the government will resolve the issue," he said.

The cooperative bank sector, which was hit by the demonetisation exercise, is interested in the app solution to ensure more liquidity among cooperative banks and also between government treasury and cooperative banks.

"The co-operative sector is trying to recoup from the blow it suffered due to the draconian decisions of the Centre and RBI. The government is set to explore the benefits of core banking and it is developing a mobile app. No decision has been taken on the launch date for the app," said finance minister Thomas Isaac


Autor(en)/Author(s): B S Anil Kumar

Quelle/Source: The Times of India, 16.01.2017

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