Over one crore rural citizens have enrolled for digital payments under the `Digi Dhan Abhiyan' programme within 20 days of the start of the digital financial literacy campaign, surpassing initial targets, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday.
Digital transactions in the country have also seen substantial jump across-the-board post demonetisation. While the number of transactions through RuPay cards soared 445 per cent between November 8 and December 26, the Point of Sale (PoS) transaction volumes grew 95 per cent.
"Under the digital payment awareness programme being conducted through the Common Service Centres (CSC), we had set a target of reaching out to 80 lakh citizens, and 25 lakh merchants for training. We have surpassed that target and have trained 1.05 crore people in a matter of 20 days," Prasad said.
These span 476 districts and 2,782 blocks, he added.
Besides enrollment of rural citizens, over three lakh merchants (shopkeepers) have started offering digital payment options to consumers in rural India.
Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have recorded the highest number of citizen enrolments of over 15 lakh and 12.5 lakh, respectively. Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh have recorded the highest number of merchant enrolment crossing 60,000 shopkeepers each.
Under the `Digi Dhan Abhiyan', the CSCs are training people in rural areas on various digital financial solutions and also familiarising them with various modes of e-payment.
At the same time, they educate shopkeepers and vendors on the use of digital payments.
"Also, we now have a list of 12 cashless villages located in Haryana, Maharashtra, Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Tamil Nadu. We are defining cashless as those villages where all shopkeepers have one mode of digital payment and one member of every family has one mode of digital payment," the Minister said.
In addition, Confederation of All India Traders will provide training to one crore shopkeepers across 1,000 towns, on digital payment. A Memorandum of Understanding to this effect was also signed today.
Prasad said that while transaction volumes of RuPay cards rose to 21 lakh per day on December 26 from 3.85 lakh a day on November 8 (445 per cent growth), in value terms it rose to Rs 282 crore per day from Rs 39.17 crore a day (621 per cent growth).