Visa, a leader in digital payments technology and the Government of Andhra Pradesh, announced the e-transformation of large state-owned service providers for digital payments under the Vizag Digital Dhan Sankalp (VDDS) project is now accessible to over 90 percent of the city’s two million strong population. Aimed at better service delivery and creating an inclusive society, the digital payment enabled services include property and water tax at Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), bus services run by Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), iconic tourist locations at Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA), and utility services of Eastern Power Distribution Company of AP Ltd (EPDCL). Digitisation of various other payments like those to educational institutions, small and micro merchants, and street market vendors is underway as the state government is considering mandating digital acceptance through amendments to the AP Shop and Establishments Act.
The big push towards e-payment of citizen-services dwells on the vision of ‘Vizag less–cash city’ initiative underway between Visa and the State Government of Andhra Pradesh that aims to offer efficient services through better adoption of digitization across the masses. Also for the first time, citizens in the state would be able to use their contactless cards to conduct digital payments for services such as transport and tourism.
Shri Lokesh Nara – Hon’ IT Minister, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh said, “Having set the benchmark as the first state in India to embark on digitization of government services on such a large scale, we have further raised the bar by extending the project to cover electricity, municipal taxes, transport and tourism payments. Millions of citizens will benefit through this initiative on a daily basis while we continue to transform public service delivery through digital payments in the state. Digitization of transactions will lead to a reduction of costs and improved convenience for all stakeholders involved, as we continue to realise our vision of making Vizag, India’s first less–cash city and the FinTech Valley of India. Key to our mission will be working closely with citizens, and the industry ecosystem to tap innovative and meaningful digital experiences and deliver better value to citizens.”
TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, Visa, India & South Asia, said, “Digital transformation of payments will improve public service delivery by infusing more efficiency and transparency into the system. Today, what citizens want is a new type of experience: one that is frictionless, seamless and we are excited at the role that contactless technology such as Visa payWave cards can play in enabling citizens across the state. Digitization of payments will help re-imagining a smarter nation driven by the synergy between citizens and the state and roll out superior citizen experience rooted in transparency.”
The Vizag Digital Dhan Sankalp project is an initiative spearheaded by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Visa, to develop Visakhapatnam into India’s first “less–cash” city. The project was facilitated through active participation by various banking and technology partners including Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Billdesk and Verifone. The program focuses on driving the digitization for a range of key use cases determined to significantly payment digitisation. Aimed at driving access, awareness and adoption of digital payments, the program focuses on changing consumer behaviour to increase the adoption of digital payments that will serve as the foundation for Vizag to emerge as India’s Fintech Valley.
Given their wide reach, recurring nature of transactions and low ticket sizes, e-payments of citizen-centric services are expected to drive mass adoption of digital payments; especially, among first-time users.