VISAKHAPATNAM : Visa, the global leader in digital payments technology, and the Andhra Pradesh government Monday announced that their initiative to make Visakhapatnam a less-cash city will soon touch 90 percent of the coastal city's two million population. After successful completion of the pilots in few departments, they are looking to extend the digital payment to almost all citizen services.
T.R. Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, Visa, India & South Asia said they plan to roll out the services in 7 to 8 other districts of Andhra Pradesh this year.
State Information Technology Ministry Nara Lokesh said they were on course to make Visakhapatnam India's first less-cash city.
They were talking to reporters on the sidelines of blackchain business conference being organised by Fintech Valley Vizag.
Ramchandran said the initiative was unique as it promotes digital payments in sectors which directly and deeply impact common man on the street.
Launched early this year, the initiative successfully completed the pilot on Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation buses plying in the city. Passengers have to tap contactless cards provided by banks into a machines to take ticket. The service will be shortly rolled out on all 500 buses.
People can also make their electricity and LPG payments by scanning BharatQR code with their mobile phones. The service will also be extended to temples, tourist centres, municipal taxes, ration shops, medical shops, hospitals, educational institutions and other services.
Andhra Bank, State Bank of India, Axis, HDFC and ICICI banks and McKinsey are the partners of Visa for the project.
The state government plans to amend Shops and Establishments Act to encourage merchants to receive digital payments.
Ramachandran said it was a cost-effective and easy method of payment as the merchants don't have to invest in machines.