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Bhubaneswar heads for digital payments award

Capital banking on Odyssey card, which can be used to pay for bus fares and utility bills

By Sandeep Mishra in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 22.10.18, 11:29 PM
  • Updated 22.10.18, 11:29 PM
  • a min read
The common payment card machine. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

The city has been shortlisted for the Digital Payments Award, a national level competition kicked off by the ministry of housing and urban affairs. The award seeks to boost digital payment system among citizens in smart cities.

The Centre started the competition titled –— promoting digital payments in 100 smart cities in 100 days —in July. In keeping with the guidelines, the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) submitted its proposal in September and has been shortlisted to participate in the second stage of the competition.

Besides Bhubaneswar, Rourkela Smart City Limited had also submitted its proposal for the competition, but it was not shortlisted. As part of the second round, the city will now compete to get award in three categories including best digital payments adopter, best digital payments innovator and fastest growing smart city focusing on digital payments.

“We have submitted the proposal according to the guideline and are happy to got selected for the second round. We have been promoting the online payment system for various services and also added the facilities of bill payment and other websites. We are hopeful of getting the award for our initiatives,” said a smart city official.

Besides promoting the digital payment system for various services, the administration is hoping high for the award from the Centre, especially for its recent introduction of the Odyssey Payment Card, an ATM-like card that can be used for making payments ranging from bus fares to utility bill.

“The Odyssey Card is one of the milestone projects for us under the smart city mission. It is one card that can be used for making payments for an array of services. We are the first one to introduce such a card for the citizens here. We will start issuing the card shortly,” said mayor Ananta Narayan Jena.

Uttara resident Jyotirmaya Sahu welcomed the project to introduce the common payment card. “Cashless transactions are on the rise and increasing fewer people are using cash to make payments. Digital payment methods are the need of the hour and such award could only boost the confidence further,” said IT enginner Sahu.