PM Narendra Modi on Friday launched a United Payments Interface based app called BHIM, (Bharat Interface for Money) The BHIM app is a straightforward UPI app, which would allow anyone to make simple digital payments directly from their bank account.  BHIM is developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). BHIM is made in India and dedicated to the service of the nation. This is a part of Make in India and Digital India.

“Be it a smartphone or feature phone of Rs 1,000-1,200, BHIM app can be used. There is no need to have Internet connectivity,” says PM Modi. “One only needs a thumb. Your thumb is your bank now. It has become your identity now.”

What is UPI?
UPI (Launched in February this year by the National Payment Corporation of India NPCI ) allows you to make payments using your mobile phone as the primary device for transactions, through the creation of a ‘virtual payment address’, which is an alias for your bank account.

On the BHIM app, it would be <mobile number@upi> or <preferred user id@upi>. This user id would be your primary address, which can be used to send or request money through other ids linked to it.

What is BHIM app?
With the BHIM app, anyone can send or request money through the app to make a digital payment. The app is linked to your bank account, so you don’t have to load money in it unlike a wallet, and a merchant does not have to worry about transferring the money back to their bank account.

How can I get it on my phone?
BHIM is an android app and available on the Google Play Store, The app will soon come to the iOS platform.

How do I use it?
After you download the BHIM app, you’ll have to register your bank account through the app, and set a UPI PIN. Your mobile number is your payment address, and you can start transacting. Through the app, you can send or receive money to a phone number, check balance, or scan a QR code to make a payment without sharing a phone number.

Great thing is that you can also sent money to non-UPI banks through IFSC, like you do with normal net banking.

Are there transaction limits?
There is a maximum of Rs. 10,000 per transaction permitted, and Rs. 20,000 within 24 hours.

Does it work on feature phones?
Apart from an app, the interface can be accessed using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) from feature phones – you will need to dial *99# to access it. With this method, an Internet connection will not be required.

Which banks support this?
All the major Pvt and Govt. banks are supported by the BHIM app – as long as the bank supports UPI, you will be able to access your money through the BHIM app.

The other things that can be done on this app once it’s downloaded on your phone are:

Check Balance: The user can check the bank balance and transaction details on the go.

Custom Payment Address: The user can create a custom payment address, in addition to their phone number.

QR Code: You can scan a QR code for faster entry of payment addresses and faster transaction speed. Merchants can easily print their QR Code for display, which other users can scan and transact through the app.

Languages: Currently, BHIM understands only English and Hindi. The official says that more regional languages will be added soon.

PM Narendra Modi also said that biometric payment system based Aadhar Payment app will also go live within two weeks. Given the speedy launch of government-backed digital payments apps, it would be interesting to see how successfully the rural population adapts these methods.

One more thing, PayTM also released the new version of their app.  The new Paytm app focuses on better security and has also introduced a feature of direct wallet-to-bank transfer. This means that every 24 hours, money sent to a merchant will be directly credited to their bank accounts, on choosing the relevant option.

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