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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.


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.

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