Push for digital payments

The smart city implementing agency is gearing up to take part in yet another national-level competition - this time, to promote digital payments.

By Our Correspondent
  • Published 29.07.18
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A shopkeeper uses a POS machine in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: The smart city implementing agency is gearing up to take part in yet another national-level competition - this time, to promote digital payments.

Promoting Digital Payments in 100 Smart Cities in 100 Days, was kicked off by the Centre earlier this month, and will see cities awarded for promotion of digital payments among citizens.

Bhubaneswar will compete in three categories - best digital payments adopter, best digital payments innovator and fastest growing smart city focusing on digital payments.

The contest will consist of two stages. In the first one, the city will submit its responses to a questionnaire by September 15. If the city is shortlisted based on its responses, it will be asked take part in the second stage for further evaluation.

A separate dashboard for all smart cities will be created to monitor the progress under the challenge.

The city authorities will be provided login ids and passwords, using which data will be fed to the dashboard on a daily basis.

The regularity of data compliance will also be a factor in the overall scoring metrics.

Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited officials are quietly confident of doing well in the competition. They believe that they have adopted several measures to boost digital payment systems, mainly at the government level, which would hold them in good stead in the competition.

"We are taking several measures to boost digital payments. We have a website for payment of utilities, while there are also plans to develop a separate application for it. The counters are also receiving payments using point-of-sale machines (POS)," said a civic official.

Smart city officials believe the introduction of the common payment card would be game changer for them in the competition.

People will be able to make payments for services, including water bill, holding tax and city bus fares, with a single card.

"The common payment card is one of the ambitious projects under the Smart City Mission. This will change the face of digital payment in the city. Our executor has already finished the modalities for the card. We are hopeful of introducing it in a month or two," said Bhubaneswar mayor Ananta Narayan Jena.