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SAGA CORNER

One crore people in rural India adopt digital payment mode

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) rural Common Service Centre (CSC) network through its massive outreach campaign â€˜DigiDhan Abhiyan’ has enrolled over one crore rural citizens for digital payments since its launch earlier this month. 

Over 3 lakh merchants have started offering digital payment options to rural customers across various districts and blocks in rural India. Within a month of the launch of the campaign, the uptake of digital payments by rural Indians has already crossed 1 crore.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Electronics & Information Technology said, “The rapid pace at which rural citizens are adopting digital methods of payment demonstrates their support and enthusiasm to be a part of the Digital Transformation story of our country.”

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have recorded the highest number of enrolments with citizen enrolment crossing 15 lakh and 12.5 lakh rural citizens respectively. Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh have recorded the highest number of merchant enrolments crossing 60000 merchants each. Other States in the country like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Andhra are also contributing to the high digital enrolment of citizens.

The Common Service Centres (CSC) and the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE) have reached out to citizens innovatively to impart digital literacy. Gurdeep Singh, a Village Level Entrepreneur of Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh has converted his van into a mobile training centre equipped with education material and has taken it to several villages in the district to educate people on Digital Payments and systems. Gurdeep Singh says, “The response from the citizens has been phenomenal. The ripple effect of the mobilization on ground to educate citizens through CSC’s has been a tremendous success story. Citizens have been mobilizing each other to proactively go digital in our outreach camps and this is a very encouraging sign of adoption of digital payments by all sections of Indians.”

The effectiveness of this campaign is demonstrated in the high levels of enrolment from the tribal village of Palnar, located in the naxal-hit region of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh. The Common Service Centre (CSC) along with a team of bankers, district officials and technical officials met the citizens of the village and trained them through various audio/ video material on digital transformation and benefits of digital adoption. The team also worked intensely with merchants and citizens to get them to practice digital transactions on a regular basis. The village has now gone digital with the use of e-Wallets, Cards, Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines etc.

Another success story comes from district Jashpur in Chhattisgarh, where a Gram Panchayat ‘Jariya’ Sarpanch led an active team and reached out to each villager to educate them on digital payments. The campaign was driven through hands-on training sessions, door-to-door outreach with a major focus on the merchants. The Gram Panchayat has now received a Certificate of 100% Aadhaar seeding of all bank accounts in the village.

The DigiDhan Abhiyan aims to cover 2 lakh Common Service Centres (CSC) across the rural areas and enable them to become Digital Financial Education centres. The CSCs will train people about the various digital financial solutions and also enable them to use various modes of Electronic Payment Systems (EPS). The campaign also aims to sensitize merchants and vendors on the use of EPS.

The campaign will look to provide people with a multitude of choices, so that they can choose the method basis its relevance and comfort for them. The focus will be on creating an enabling environment and identify solutions for all segments of the population who want to go digital. It will be a combination of physical outreach through the Common Service Centres (CSC) and Digital Tools.

“The DigiDhan Abhiyan outreach in rural India through the Common Service Centres reflects citizen’s willingness to go digital and the acceptance of new methods of digital transactions which are convenient and easy to access / use. We will continue to leverage newer teDea

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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