New Delhi: Bharat Interface for Money, or BHIM, an app developed by the government to further its cashless push, is expected to be launched by the end of this week in seven other regional languages, besides English and Hindi.
The update to the app is aimed at ensuring better accessibility as the government tries to promote digital payments across the country.
The new languages to be integrated with the app are Bengali, Odiya, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.
Currently, the app is available only in Hindi and English.
“In the upcoming version, which will be launched in a couple of days by the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI), around seven new regional languages are expected to be integrated with the app along with the improvements in usability of the interface,” said a person closely working on BHIM, who did not wish to be named.
This feature will be available for Android smartphone users only. An iOS version will be launched by the NPCI soon. “The iOS usage in India is still low, so we are prioritizing all the Android development over the iOS release,” he added.
The introduction of Indian languages to the app was a much-awaited feature since the launch of the app last month.
“The regional language is expected to go live very soon. BHIM app has been built keeping in mind the needs of India’s local language customers from the very beginning rather than as an afterthought. Since its inception, language localization is integral to the usability of the app and its language infrastructure has been designed around the complexities of Indian languages,” said Vijaynanda Prabhu, vice-president, Client Engagements, Reverie Language Technologies, one of the companies working to enable regional languages on the BHIM app.
BHIM was launched in December by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote digital transactions using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a bank-to-bank fund transfer system backed by internet and smartphones, using phone numbers linked to banks.
“Over the next three- four months; Punjabi, Marathi and Assamese are most likely to go live on the BHIM app,” added Prabhu.
In its last update earlier this month, usability issues were fixed after the users had raised concerns about its security features within a few days of its launch. However, no new feature was introduced.
Since then, BHIM has been linked to 35 private and public sector banks such as State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Union Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra Bank. UCO Bank, Bank of India and YES Bank are among the latest entrants to be integrated with the app.
Currently, there is a daily limit of Rs10, 000 per transaction and Rs20, 000 in a day for transfers through the bank account.