More than 50 UPI-led banking apps will undergo a name change and add BHIM as a prefix, according to reports. This is part of a greater push to the government-owned Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app that was launched last December to enable more digital transactions in the country in the aftermath of demonetization. All private and public banks that have introduced payment apps based on the structure provided by UPI will now have to rechristen them. So, SBI Pay becomes BHIM SBI Pay, for instance. Also Read - PM Modi launches e-RUPI digital payment solution: What is it? Is it like Bitcoin? and more questions answeredAlso Read - e-RUPI: PM Modi announces to launch a new digital payments platform today
“The UPI front end of the bank apps will be changed to include the name BHIM, though this will be a nomenclature change. Eventually, everything will become part of the larger BHIM family. This should help clear all forms of confusion among merchants accepting UPI and consumers using UPI for payments,” a senior banker reportedly said. It will also help provide a unified identity to the UPI apps of 57 different banks. BHIM technically is a competitor to banks’ payments apps, but a name change is being brought about to foster oneness. ALSO READ: Google Tez: The latest UPI app in India launches with mobile wallet and payments service Also Read - Apple adds UPI, RuPay, net banking on App Store: How to add new payment methods
NPCI, which runs and manages both BHIM and UPI, has notified all banks to place BHIM/UPI prominently at merchant checkout locations across the country. This is similar to point-of-sales (POS) locations hanging boards suggesting acceptance of credit/debit cards like Visa, Mastercard, and so on. NPCI believes that this will increase clarity in the minds of consumers doing digital transactions at POS. Further, it could also increase merchant adoption of UPI, which has mostly been restricted to peer-to-peer transactions as of now. ALSO READ: UPI transactions growing way faster than Aadhaar-based payments: Report
BHIM accounted for 7.6 million of the 30.7 million transactions recorded on the UPI platform in September. That is a slight increase from 6.8 million in August. In the same month, PhonePe (a non-bank payments app) surpassed BHIM in largest number of UPI transactions. PhonePe, owned by Flipkart, now accounts for over 45 percent of all UPI transactions. Hence, for BHIM, some support from banking apps in the form of a name change would only mean a chance to lead UPI transactions all over again. “Since all these apps are inter-operable the decision to market UPI as a common brand will help popularize it among the masses,” a payments company official stated.