Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched BHIM, described by him as a brand-new app that will amount to “a world wonder.” BHIM – Bharat Interface for Money – is named for Dr BR Ambedkar, said the PM, and is positioned to play a big role in the government’s push for digital transactions. The app can be used to make and receive payments and can be used by anyone who has an account with any of the 32 banks that are part of UPI. The app can be used to send money even to users who do not have the app and to accounts in banks that are not on UPI. The app is developed by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). By using this app, Indian users can receive or send money through their mobiles by linking their bank accounts. A UPI PIN number will be provided to the user for secure transactions. This app soon is upgraded for USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) platform.
You have to register your bank account with BHIM, and set a UPI PIN for the bank account. Your mobile number is your payment address (PA), and you can simply start transacting.
You can send, receive from friends, family and customers through a mobile number or payment address. Money can also be sent to non UPI supported banks using IFSC and MMID. You can also collect money by sending a request and reverse payments if required.
“Be it a smartphone or a 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. There was a time when an illiterate was called ‘angutha chhaap’. That has changed. Your thumb is your bank now.”
Here is your 10-point guide to BHIM:
- The app allows you to easily transfer money or make a payment from your bank account using only your phone number. If the shopkeeper uses the BHIM app too, just open the app, choose “send money”, and type in the amount and the merchant’s phone number to make the payment. The money will be debited from your account, and credited to the merchant’s bank account which are linked by you and the vendor to the BHIM app.
- BHIM is now available as an Android version download now, and iOS is coming soon.
- The app also allows you to scan a QR code. The merchant can generate his QR code through the BHIM app. To pay him, you’d need to tap the Scan and Pay button in the app, and then scan the QR code.
- Even without a smartphone, anyone can use BHIM to make payments.You need to dial *99# from any kind of mobile phone, and this will show a menu – by typing in different numbers you can choose to send money, check your balance, or see transaction history.
- To send money, for example, you’d type ‘1’ and hit send, then type ‘1’ again to select mobile number. Next, you’d type in the number and the amount, and then a PIN that can be generated using BHIM. This will work on any phone – even Rs. 1,000 feature phones – without an Internet connection.
- Shopkeepers can use the BHIM app and receive money from a smartphone, or if the customer has linked a bank account and her Aadhaar ID, then the merchant can use Aadhaar Pay, an app that was soft-launched days ago. For this, the merchant has to have a smartphone (even a basic Android phone will do) and a Rs. 2,000 fingerprint reader. This is currently being distributed free in Aadhaar Payments pilot projects around the country.
- On the shopkeeper’s phone, the customer types in her Aadhaar number and chooses her bank. Then, the shopkeeper uses the fingerprint reader for instant confirmation to complete the payment. The customer don’t need to carry her Aadhar card, or use a phone, only the merchant needs these.
- With a mobile wallet app, you have to load money in the wallet before you can use it. With BHIM and all UPI (United Payments Interface) apps, you can directly connect your phone to your bank account – like a debit card. Payments are happening directly from and to bank accounts, so merchants don’t have to worry about transferring wallet earnings to the bank either.
- There is a Rs. 10,000 per transaction limit, and Rs. 20,000 per day for BHIM.
- All UPI-connected banks accept BHIM – this includes all major Indian banks including SBI, ICICI, Axis, and HDFC. Even banks not connected to UPI can receive money through BHIM through IFSC, an 11-digit code assigned to every bank branch by the Reserve Bank of India.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use the app:
1. Android users can download the application from Play Store by searching for ‘BHIM’. The app is not available for iOS users yet.
2. Install the application and choose your language. The app will prompt you to verify your phone number using an SMS. Click on Next and wait for the verification process to be completed.
3. Once the verification is complete, input a four digit passcode.
4. After a passocode is set, the app will ask you to select your bank. Once the bank is selected, the app automatically picks up your details using your phone number. Select the primary bank account that will be used for all your transactions.
5. The app displays three options — send, request and scan/pay. Transactions are possible only between verified phone numbers.
6. To send money to someone, type in their phone number and the amount to be transferred. The app will prompt you to input your MPIN, usually a four or a six digit code that authenticates a mobile transaction.
Named after the architect of the Indian Constitution, Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is a simplified payment platform designed to make Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and USSD payment modes simpler and usable across feature phones and smartphones.
Developed by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), BHIM is supported by host of banks, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank,
Oriental Bank of Commerce and Punjab National Bank, among others.
The app, which can be downloaded from Google Play Store, is currently available in Hindi and English, and support for more languages is expected soon.
The app is a rebranded version of UPI (Unified Payment Interface) and USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data). BHIM has been developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and is about 2MB in size.
PM Modi said that BHIM will be the world’s biggest wonder. The app takes on the likes of Paytm, Mobikwik, Freecharge and other mobile payment apps which have become hugely popular since the government announced banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8. While launching the app, PM made payment to Khaadi.UPI needed all banks to become interoperable with the UPI technology (between February and June 2016), which is no mean task. NPCI took two extra months to ensure as many banks as possible were on board a compact system.
UPI is how apps like PhonePe — built in less than a year — help make the inter-banking experience as simple as email for customers. It is a living and breathing platform that enables immediate payments. And it was a wake-up call for banks to get their technology act together.
Bharat Interface for Money (or BHIM) is another of UPI’s progeny and applications. The buzz in the tech sphere is that it is the shape of things to come — read, technology and micro-lending. Though BHIM allows sending money to a mobile number, it requires the receiver to be registered with the UPI in order to accept payment. In turn, the long process of generating a UPI PIN by entering debit card details may discourage the poor and the illiterate.
“Through Aadhaar, any person — large service providers or independent ones such as plumbers or carpenters, irrespective of whether they are on BHIM or not — can get payments for their services directly into their bank accounts if it is linked to Aadhaar,” said Pandey. He added that almost two crore people are linking with accounts with Aadhaar every month and total figure for such accounts should go up to 50-60 crore — half the country —in the next two to three months.
Currently, there are five payment options on the BHIM app — namely mobile number, bank account or IFSC code, among others. Aadhaar number will be the sixth such option. “There are some teething troubles but we are working on strengthening security,” said Pandey.