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NITI Aayog Offering Lucky Draws To Push Digital Payments

The Indian government’s think tank, NITI Aayog has proposed launching a weekly and quarterly lucky draw scheme to incentivize the use of digital payments.

In a statement, NITI Aayog said

It is necessary to ensure that electronic payments are adopted by all sections of the society. In view of the above, NITI Aayog has requested National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to conceptualize and launch a new scheme to incentivize digital payments. We need to encourage electronic payments and nudge the society to move from digital to digi-dhan.

The NPCI has been charged with the responsibility to drive India towards operating as a cashless society. The scheme has been mooted in wake of the government’s surprise decision last month to withdraw high denomination currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000. The move sucked 86 percent of the total currency in circulation in the country, sending the country into a situation of a severe cash shortage.

India Today

The government has been urging its citizens to adopt digital form of payments and reduce dependence on cash. Several experts believe that over 70 percent of the Indian economy operates on a cash basis and rural areas have little access to electronic payment systems. The incentivization scheme will have a budget of Rs. 125 crore and will cover both end-consumers and merchants who use digital payments. The award scheme will use resources from the financial inclusion fund which will be created with a corpus of Rs 500 crore, backed by the Central government, the Reserve Bank of India and Nabard.

The Aayog said that the scheme would also recognize innovative initiatives taken by state governments, districts, government undertakings, urban & rural bodies to promote the use of electronic payment systems.

Under the scheme, two incentive levels are proposed – a weekly lucky draw will be held on the transaction IDs generated in the week and a quarterly prize that will be a grand prize. Details of the lucky draw scheme are to be developed by NPCI. The NITI Aayog has asked the agency to focus on lower income level segments which are small businesses, the poor and the lower middle class, while creating the award scheme.

Customers making payments using any method such as AEPS, USSD, RuPay Cards and UPI will be included in the incentive scheme. In case of merchants, the point of sale (POS) machines installed at their business location will also be included. However only those payments done after November 9, when the demonetization came into effect, would be considered for the awards. The NITI Aayog said that the full details of the scheme would be shared soon.

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