The government of India has teamed up with ICICI Bank to enable online payments at the electronic National Agricultural Market (e-NAM), according to a senior official associated with the Agriculture Ministry. The payment system will be incorporated at 470 mandis (physical markets) in across 14 states all over the country.
The government will use its BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to provide online payment services in the e-NAM portal. ICICI Bank will provide banking service in the portal with the help of these two digital payment interfaces. As of now, traditional ways such as visiting the bank, credit/debit card payments, and net banking are used for all kinds of payments in e-NAM.
Since farmers have already started trading online in e-NAM, there is a requirement for a reliable system for online transactions. According to the official who revealed the news, ICICI Bank has been roped in mainly to ensure smooth transaction within mandis. With the system fully incorporated, online trade between two mandis within a state or different states will be possible.
National Agricultural Market is established by the government to create a common market platform for agricultural commodities all over the country. Virtual market is one of the major features of NAM. However, these markets also have physical markets at the back end.
Under the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) system, the produce will be sold by farmers to the local mandi. Moving the commodities from one place to another involves a lot of expenses and transaction costs. Transporting these goods to other states requires many licenses and involves further more expenses. This is the reason why NAM got established in the first place.
NAM focuses on defragmenting the country’s agricultural economy by creating a common trading platform for the entire nation. Agricultural products produced in a particular location can be traded across the whole country. Electronic trading and online payment will further facilitate the process.