In order to boost the adoption of UPI (Universal Payments Interface) as a tool for digital transactions, NCPI (National Payments Corp. of India) has a new mobile app called BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money). It is available for download only in Google Play Store, which means you can use it only if you have an Android smartphone for the moment.
The app is linked to over 30 private and public sector banks such as State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI, Union Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra.
How to set it up?
Once downloaded, the app automatically takes a few seconds to verify if the number on the phone is registered with a bank account. After the verification, the app will ask the user to set up a four-digit PIN (personal identification number) which is required to login to the app every time the user is logged out of it. The app automatically logs out the user if the app is closed or has not been used for a while, adding a layer of security to it. Once the verification is over, the app generates a virtual address, also known as UPI ID, for the user, using the 10-digit mobile number. One can change the UPI ID in the Profile category.
The app’s clean and clutter-free layout makes accessing or looking for options easy.
The home page shows all the available options such as Send, Request, Scan & Pay along with information on all transactions through UPI, Profile and the bank account that is being used.
How to make payments?
In order to make a financial transaction, the user has to select a bank followed by the account number with which they want to make the payment. In case one has more than one account in a bank, the app shows all of them and even allows the user to switch from one to another easily. Once the account is configured, you can use the money in your account to make payments up to Rs10,000 at a time or up to Rs20,000 in a day to any bank account holder using the UPI ID or by entering the name of the beneficiary, bank account number and the IFSC code of the bank branch where the beneficiary has the account.
The user can also request money by providing the UPI ID or generating a QR code with an amount they require and then share it with the sender through WhatsApp, or email.
The user can also use the Aadhar number to send or receive money, but the option is yet to show up on the app.
The app requires active internet connection and can be used in English and Hindi languages.
Can it replace mobile wallets?
For users who rely on apps such as Paytm or FreeCharge for sending or receiving money, BHIM is a much better option as it is directly linked to the users’ bank account and users are not required to enter credit or debit card details or keep money in the wallet.
Also, unlike mobile wallets, where both the sender and the receiver are restricted to use the same mobile wallet for a transaction, BHIM users can send money directly to the user’s bank account. For sending bigger amounts on mobile wallets, users are required to share their KYC (know-your-customer) details.
However, BHIM can’t replace your wallet yet, as it doesn’t yet have options for payments like mobile and DTH recharges and electricity and other bills. But for sending and receiving money, it is a lot more convenient than a mobile wallet.