Home / Money / Personal-finance /  BHIM app: A one-minute guide

Last week, the National Payments Corporation of India launched Bharat Interface for Money (Bhim), which enables you to send and receive money over the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform. UPI allows customers with a bank account to send money, like they would a text message. As UPI runs on Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), the transaction is instant. To use the Bhim app, you need to have a bank account with a UPI member bank, a registered mobile number, internet access and an Android smartphone.

Download from the Google Play store. Choose a language—either English or Hindi. Next, it asks permission to access your SMS and phone. After the app verifies your mobile number, you have to set a four-digit passcode. You then select your bank name from the list of 31 banks. Remember that only if you are a customer of a UPI member bank can you use this facility. After you select the bank name, it automatically picks your account number and Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) and shows the last four digits of your account number. Do verify that this is your account number. It also mentions the type of account—savings or current.

You can then create your virtual payment address (VPA). You also need to set a UPI-PIN to start transactions. For this, you need to enter the last six digits of your debit card along with the expiry date. At present, you can link only one bank account.

In the next step, the app takes you to your bank’s app page and gives you three options: send, request and scan. To scan and pay, you will have to allow access to photos, media and files on your device to share the QR code. There are no charges for making payments through Bhim. But your bank might levy a nominal charge as UPI or IMPS transfer fee. All payments through UPI go directly to a bank account.

Bhim also works on feature phones. On a feature phone, you have to dial *99# instead of downloading the app. This facility is not available with bank-run UPI apps.

Another difference is that bank-UPI apps also allow rest of the mobile banking activities, such as fund transfers, adding beneficiary and requesting for a cheque book. This is because UPI is built into the existing mobile banking app. With Bhim, you can only do UPI-enabled transactions.

Bank-run apps still don’t allow payment using QR code; the Bhim app does.

You can also share you virtual payment address through a QR code.

If you want just one app for all your banking activities, you can opt for bank-run UPI apps.

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