The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched a micro ATM device that would enable beneficiaries like MG-NREGA workers with Aadhaar to withdraw money near their doors through core banking system.
“The beneficiary has to put his finger and Aadhaar number in to the micro ATM wireless device and get the money within 8 to 9 seconds from a business correspondent after verification about the beneficiary having that much amount deposited in the bank account shown through a receipt by the device,” UIDAI Director General R S Sharma said here today.
With the device not carrying any money unlike the regular bank ATMs,the beneficiary would get the withdrawn amount from the business correspondent on the spot.
“The (about a foot-long) device functions through any SIM and wherever there is a mobile tower. The device will be with a bank-appointed business correspondent,” he said.
The beneficiaries could choose their business correspondence to approach,he said adding the method would root out any role by middlemen.
Besides the MG-NREGA workers,other beneficiaries under old-age pension,scholarship or any other welfare schemes could also benefit from the device.
Praising Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda’s keenness to cover the entire state under the new system,Sharma said Munda had told him that the state government would like to link all its socials security funds through the new system. As pilot projects,he said the micro ATM device has been introduced in three blocks in Jharkhand’s Sareikela-Kharsawan,Hazaribagh and Ranchi districts and about 1000 transactions have taken places during the last few days.
Once it is proved to be perfect,it would be introduced in other states.
He said the ICCI,the Union Bank of India and the Bank of India were linked with the micro ATM devices in these three districts.
“Using the device to withdraw money by beneficiaries will save travel-related difficulties,money and they can also have some savings in their accounts as one knows that one can withdraw any time as business correspondents are available at their villages,” Sharma said.
He cited a survey in Madhya Pradesh that had calculated that a beneficiary had to spend Rs 125 on conveyance to withdraw a week’s wages of Rs 525.
Stating that the communication device would cost less than Rs 10,000,Sharma said it was developed among others by the RBI and Indian Bankers Association.
“This new system is a part of our financial inclusion initiatives to help the poor with no middle-men troubling them,” he said.
The UIDAI,is also working to introduce the system in areas like telecom,public distribution system,LPG cylinder and fertiliser/kerosene.