The push for cashless India has been aggressive in the recent past, thanks to the ongoing demonetization efforts and the apparent shortage of cash. Yesterday, PM Narendra Modi has launched a new version of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) app at the Digi Dhan Mela camp in Delhi known as ‘BHIM’ which stands for Bharat Interface for Money.
“Be it a smartphone or feature phone of Rs 1,000-1,200, BHIM app can be used. There is no need to have Internet connectivity,” says PM Modi. “One only needs a thumb. There was a time when an illiterate was called ‘Angutha Chhaap’. Now, time has changed. Your thumb is your bank now. It has become your identity now.”
The app is developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and is available for Android smartphones via Google Play Store. The BHIM app has a simple interface and it is very simple to use. The app is very light in size and need only 2MB of disk space.
On starting the app, you will be asked to give permission to send an SMS and register your phone number. Once registered, you will be asked to set a 4-digit passcode which is known as UPI pin, and then choose your bank. That’s it.
The best thing in BHIM is its simpler interface. On the top, you have an option to send money, request money or scan and pay using QR Code. By default, your registered mobile with the selected bank is your UPI address. For instance, if your mobile number is 8373903675, your default UPI address will be 8373903675@upi. You also get an option to create your customized UPI address, which could be your nickname or full name. After creating your customized UPI address you can make that primary.
With the BHIM app, anyone can send or request money to make a digital payment. The app is linked to your bank account, so you don’t have to load money in it unlike a wallet, and a merchant does not have to worry about transferring the money back to their bank account. Through the app, you can send or receive money to a phone number, check balance, or scan a QR code to make a payment without sharing a phone number. Money can also be sent to non-UPI banks through IFSC code. There is a limit on the transaction amount where a maximum of Rs. 10,000 per transaction and total Rs. 20,000 in 24 hours can be transferred.
Apart from an app, the interface can be accessed using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) from feature phones – you will need to dial *99# to access it. With this method, an Internet connection will not be required.
As of now, BHIM app is mostly centred around making and receiving payments, unlike PayTM and others who offer an array of services including mobile recharge and bus ticket booking. Also, it’s not a wallet per se as it’s directly linked to your bank account(s).