THE HEADHUNTERS OF LONGWA
India is moving towards a digital revolution. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has the vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. Digital India is an ambitious programme to prepare India for a knowledge future. “Faceless, Paperless, Cashless” is one of the professed role of Digital India. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) is also encouraging the initiative of digital payment at healthcare organisations.
Promotion of digital payments has been accorded highest priority by the government and is one of the key highlights of the Union Budget 2017-2018. Accordingly, a pan-india target of total 2,500 crore digital transactions can be made through five payment modes namely UPL (united payment interface), USSD (unstructured supplementary service data), Aadhaar enabled payment system, IMPS (immediate payment service) and debit cards.
A target of 91 crore digital transactions in the financial year 2017-18 has been allocated for health sectors, including both public and private sectors at central and state levels.
The MOHFW has asked all the public and private healthcare organisations for enabling all customer touch points with “Digital Payment” acceptance infrastructure. The Health Ministry has also decided to appoint a nodal officer at state and district level to promote digital payment in all public healthcare facilities in a time-bound manner. Now patients/citizen can pay by means of UPI, BHIM, mobile wallet, and credit/debit cards at various healthcare organisations.
The Health Ministry has also developed an online reporting mechanism for data pulling and data collating for digital transactions from the healthcare organisations across the country. A designated nodal officer from the state will propagate the digital transaction data consisting of a total number of the digital transaction through different modes. Monthly transaction reports would be
submitted to “e-transaction” operated by Centre for Health Informatics of the Health Ministry.
Different organisations/stakeholders such as Indian Medical Association (IMA), All India Organization of Chemists & Druggists (AIOCD) have been consulted about the digital payment initiative in the health sector for their cooperation at various levels of healthcare facilities.
BHARAT QR CODE
As India is gradually transitioning from a cash-centric to cashless economy; to encourage digital payments, the government of India has further simplified the things for service provider and customers by launching the Bharat QR Code. The QR Code or Quick Response Code is a two-dimensional machinereadable code that is made up of black and white squares. It is used to store URLS and other information. These can be read by the camera of a smartphone. Scanning the QR code through mobile will help in transferring money from one source to another. According to RBI, the Bharat QR Code is the world’s first inter-operable payment acceptance solution and it’s safe.
Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is a mobile application for payment transactions using Unified Payments Interface (UIP). Users can make instant bank-to-bank payments and pay and collect money using mobile number, bank a/c and IFSC code, Aadhaar number or virtual payment address (VPA). Users can also make a transaction using from their feature phone as well by dialling *99#. BHIM is available in eight regional languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam, Oriya, Gujarati, Kannada and Hindi.
BHIM Aadhaar App is a mobile-based application that enables merchants to receive payments without installing any physical POS (point of sale) machine. Patients/citizens can make payment by using his/her biometric thumb impression, Aadhaar number, and there is no need to use any card or OTP to make the payment. With BHIM Aadhaar, the government has ensured that any citizen of this country can make payment digitally without the usage of cards, internet, and smartphone.
Immediate Payment Service enables a user to send money 24x7 using mobile number, Aadhaar number and bank a/c, IFSC code. IMPS service can be accessed using internet banking, mobile banking & ATM.
Cards such as credit, debit, and prepaid can be used for digital payment. Rupay (the debit cards which has been launched by the government), Visa, Mastercard are some of the examples of card payment system.
Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) has been launched as *99# service by the government to take the banking services to every common man across the country. Banking customers can avail this service by dialling *99#, a “common number across all telecom service providers (TSPS)” on their mobile phones. *99# helps to bring under-banked society in the mainstream banking services. It can be accessed in 12 different languages, including Hindi and English.
Apart from above digital modes of payments, National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) are other systems for money transaction.