The Electronic and Information Technology Ministry on Wednesday claimed that more than 70% of rural citizens have started using e-wallets. An official statement released by the government also said that 16% of the people living in rural areas have opted for the government-run Unified Payments Interface payment option.

The Centre said that 85% of rural merchants have also started allowing digital methods of payment such as e-wallets, while 13% have opted for Unified Payments Interface, reported PTI. “The speed and scale at which digital transformation in taking place in India is paving the way for a digitally empowered, participative and inclusive society,” said Aruna Sundararajan, ministry secretary.

The Centre further claimed that more than 25 lakh rural citizens have been enrolled for digital payments by the Common Service Centre network, which is part of the ministry’s Digital Payments awareness and training programme. “Achieving the 25-lakh mark in such a short time is an indication of the pace at which digital adoption is gaining momentum among rural citizens,” Sundararajan said, adding that more than 55,000 rural merchants have started offering digital payment options to customers across various districts and blocks.

The government plans to reach over 1 crore rural citizens and 2.5 lakh Gram panchayats through its DigiDhan Abhiyan programme.