Soon after the demonetization of old currency notes, the government has been pushing cashless payments via digital mediums. Over the past few days, the government has also been holding ‘Digi Dhan Mela’ camps in different cities to educate and promote cashless transactions. Today, PM Narendra Modi has launched a rebranded version of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) app at the Digi Dhan Mela camp in Delhi. Called ‘BHIM’ which stands for Bharat Interface for Money, the app is developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and is available for Android smartphones via Google Play Store.
UPI apps went live earlier this year in August with 21 banks. However, the payments interface was integrated into the banking apps with other features too. The BHIM app, on the other hand, comes with a simple interface and is built for ease of use. The app is about 2MB in size. 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, and then choose your bank. That’s it.
Unlike other UPI apps where you have a cluttered interface, BHIM is a no-frills UPI app. On the top, you have an option to send money, request money or scan and pay using QR Code. By default, your registered mobile is your UPI address. For instance, if your mobile number is 9820098200, your default UPI address will be 9820098200@upi. You also get an option to create your customized UPI address, which could be your nickname or full name.
If you have an account in two or three different banks, you can easily switch between banks in just a few clicks. On the homescreen, you have ‘my information’ section, where you need to choose Bank Account. It will open a new screen giving you details about your existing bank account, option to change or reset PIN and request for account balance. On the top right corner, you have three dots to switch to a different bank account.
As UPI is built on top of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), the transaction takes place in seconds. The best part is – the payment system works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days. Talking about limits, you can transfer as low as Re 1 and maximum of Rs 20,000 per day. However, in a single transaction you can transfer maximum of Rs 10,000.
Indeed, BHIM is a simplified app for UPI payments. You get to choose between the UPI app offered by your bank or you can choose to use BHIM. Besides UPI, there is also Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) based platform which makes transactions as simple as checking the account balance of your prepaid mobile number. The government has also introduced Aadhaar Payment app for merchants, which allows you to pay using your Aadhaar card and fingerprint.