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05 Jan

Everything You Need to Know About BHIM – The Digital Payments App


PM Narendra Modi recently announced BHIM — Bharat Interface for Money — the digital payments app by the government of India. Named after Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, BHIM is an e-wallet or digital wallet app for smart devices and is currently available only for Android platform. The app is aimed at making transaction easier with just a fingerprint impression; however, this feature hasn’t been started so far. BHIM is assumed to be an Aadhaar-based payment system.

What does this app do?

The app is based on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the core organization for all sorts of retail payments in India. You can use the app for digital transactions if you have signed up for UPI-based payments on your bank account which is linked to your mobile phone number.

The BHIM app allows users to make transaction with other UPI accounts or addresses. Also, users are able to send money through IFSC and MMID codes to users without UPI-based bank accounts. A feature of this app lets users generate unique QR code for a fixed amount of money which merchants can scan to receive payment.

Is this another mobile wallet like Paytm or MobiKwik?

No, it’s not. There is limitation in storing money in Paytm and MobiKwik like mobile wallets and transaction can only take place if other person is also using the same wallet. These limitations just don’t stay with BHIM. Because it is based on UPI, it is linked to user’s own account in bank. All the users making transactions using this app need a bank account first. If the bank account has UPI activated, you can pay just with VPA or virtual payment address of a payee and make payment to his or her account.

In case receiver doesn’t have UPI activated, the transactions can be made via IFSC or MMID. The best advantage of the app is that you do not need to remember an account number to share with someone. All a user needs is VPA. It allows sending Rs 10,000 per transaction and up to 20,000 in any 24 hours.

Which banks are currently supporting the BHIM app?

Following banks are presently supporting BHIM app:

·         Allahabad Bank ·         Andhra Bank
·         Axis Bank ·         Bank of Baroda
·         Bank of Maharashtra ·         Canara Bank
·         Catholic Syrian Bank ·         Central Bank of India
·         DCB Bank, Dena Bank ·         Federal Bank
·         HDFC Bank ·         ICICI Bank
·         IDBI Bank ·         IDFC Bank
·         Indian Bank ·         Indian Overseas Bank
·         IndusInd Bank ·         Karnataka Bank
·         Karur Vysya Bank ·         Kotak Mahindra Bank
·         Oriental Bank of Commerce ·         Punjab National Bank
·         RBL Bank ·         South Indian Bank
·         Standard Chartered Bank ·         State Bank of India
·         Syndicate Bank ·         Union Bank of India
·         United Bank of India ·         Vijaya Bank

How does BHIM make transactions?

The app lets you choose their banks after verifying the mobile number. Now users receive an SMS. It’s advised to use the same phone number linked to the account. Then you will need to set a pass-code of 4 digits. Make sure to choose an easily memorable pass-code because you will need it every time you launch the app.

The app then asks for selecting your bank. If your bank account is already UPI activated, the relevant number will be reflected. There are options to send and receive money and make transactions via IFSC. In case the account is not UPI activated, you can enter six digits of your debit card number, the expiry data. Now app allows you to use it.

TO SEND MONEY – you will need entering the mobile number or VPA. The app will verify the payee. Now type the amount and hit pay. In case the payee doesn’t have UPI, tap on the three dots (more options) above the send money option. This action will open up ACCOUNT + IFSC option where you can enter details.

NOTE – Users are currently facing a problem that they are able to access only one account per mobile number. Here, if your number is linked to two accounts, you will first need to disable one and then go back to the back selection option select other one.

How to know if your bank supports UPI?

As of NPCI’s website, when UPI system wen live in August 2016, banks with supporting apps on the Google Play store were: Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bhartiya Mahila Bank, Canara Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank, DCB Bank, Federal Bank, ICICI Bank, TJSB Sahakari Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Karnataka Bank, UCO Bank, Union Bank of India, United Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, South Indian Bank, Vijaya Bank and YES Bank.

Since then, HDFC Bank’s Android app too has started supporting UPI, and the list of banks has expanded to 30. In November, State Bank of India’s UPI-support app called SBI Pay went live.

How do I create a VPA for UPI on my account?

Before you begin with the process, make sure your mobile number is linked to your bank account. Now download the app of the bank from Google Play store. Double check if you are downloading from the right developer. If you still doubt on the app, visit the bank’s website and you should be able to find the link of app to Google Play store in mobile banking section.

Upon installing the app, login it. Locate UPI payments, tap on this option to create a VPA. Make it simple so that you can easily remember it. Now create UPI PIN which will be required to make transaction in the BHIM app. Now VPA after VPA is created, you should be able to see option to send, receive money or pay by scanning QR code. If you hold more than one accounts in a single bank, you can choose the default for tractions via UPI. This VPA code is essential to make all transactions in BHIM.

Is there anything special in BHIM that other e-wallet apps don’t?

What sets this app apart from others is its capability of transferring via IFSC and MMID for non-UPI banks. It seems government has plans to go with a single app enabling all digital payments via UPI.

For now the app has been launched only for Android smartphone users and iOS and Windows smartphones have been kept out of it. There is no detail how long iOS and Windows smartphone users have to wait for the BHIM app.


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