Prime Minister Narendra Modi has roped in Infosys co-founder and former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, Nandan Nilekani, to map out India’s digital payments drive, Bloomberg reported. His appointment comes amid the Centre’s efforts to promote a ‘cashless economy’ since demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

Nilekani has been brought on board a 13-member team, which was formed by the government last month to chalk out a roadmap to the idea of a ‘cashless economy’. This Committee of Chief Ministers is headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

In 2009, Nilekani had spearheaded the implementation of the Aadhar card project across the country. The billionaire is also on the board of governors of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations and is the president of the National Council of Applied Economic Research.

The first meeting of this committee was held last week. “India has the underlying digital financial architecture in place to get this [cashless economy] going...How quickly the government can reach everyone is a question of execution and speed,” Nilekani told Bloomberg.

The Centre has already rolled out the United Payments Interface. However, as lakhs of Indians do not have phones or lack access to the internet, the committee is expected to come up with a plan to get more citizens to adopt digital payments. “There is a sense of urgency. All strategies have to be deployed at the same time to aim for universal coverage,” Nilekani told Bloomberg.

Last month, Nilekani had praised the demonetisation move and said it will boost digital economy in the country, IANS had reported. While he had acknowledged the inconvenience and ‘pain’ people have been put through since the demonetisation move was announced, he had said digitisation that will be seen over the next three months would have otherwise taken three years.

The UPI interface – a brainchild of former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan – was rolled out in major banks in April. It makes transferring money as easy as sending out a text message.

On Thursday, as part of the government’s bid to promote cashless transactions, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that a 0.5% discount will be provided on digital payments for suburban railway ticket booking, and a 0.75% discount will be offered to those paying through cards at fuel stations. The government has also waived service tax on debit or credit card transactions of up to Rs 2,000.