After demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has been rooting for a cashless and digital economy. With the goal of Digital India in sight, Modi govt. launched its own digital payment app – BHIM which is an acronym for Bharat Interface For Money. The app is developed by National Payment Cooperation of India and is currently available on Android Platform, though App store listing should follow soon. In less than a weeks time, BHIM is number one app on the Google Play Store and has already witnessed more than 3 million downloads and over 500,000 transactions since its debut. We have experience BHIM app first hand and this is what we felt:

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The app is developed by National Payment Cooperation of India and is currently available on Android Platform, though App store listing should follow soon. In less than a weeks time, BHIM is number one app on the Google Play Store and has already witnessed more than 3 million downloads and over 500,000 transactions since its debut. We have experience BHIM app first hand and this is what we felt:

Offical BHIM APP Download Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.org.npci.upiapp

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BHIM’s Design and Interface

The very first thing we liked about this app is minimalist design approach. Its user interface is extremely simple and doesn’t require an Oxford certificate to understand. That’s precisely the way it’s supposed to be when you want people from all walks of life to feel at home while using it. The app basically uses UPI (Unified Payment Interface) to make transaction across supported banks using this unified app interface.

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screenshot_20170102-174403Setting Up BHIM

Setting it up is simple. At the time of opening for the first time, it asks you to choose between two languages – English and Hindi. Once you do that, it will seek your permission to read ‘SMS’ and ‘Phone State’ to verify UPI account. If your phone holds multiple SIM cards it will ask you to select the number that is registered with the UPI bank account. At times, a device binding failure pops ups if that happens with you to try again and it should work this time. Since to verify your account it sends a message you are required to maintain a minimum balance for one-time SMS authentication.’

Also read: Coolpad Mega 3 Triple SIM Phone Review

What you need to set-up BHIM app

  • A UPI supported bank account
  • Mobile number registered with that bank account
  • Linked debit card details

When we first tried it a device binding failure message popped up. Post a couple of successive attempts we got past the issue. Since to verify your account it sends a message you are required to maintain a minimum balance for one-time SMS authentication.

After account verification, users have to register a four digit Passcode to further secure app access. Now select the relevant bank. if UPI is activated,  BHIM will display relevant details and you will be all set to send and receive money.

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However, if your UPI account is not activated, you will have to activate in for proceeding further. This can be done from within the app. You will need to enter last six digits of your Debit Card and its expiry date to set up a UPI pin and activate it.

Well, that’s  about it. Post setup, sending and receiving money directly from and to the bank account is a simple, secure and speedy process.

It’s Not Your Regular Wallet App

Well, the government backed BHIM app in many ways is different from popular wallet apps such as PayTM, Freecharge, MobiKwik and others. These virtual wallets let you load money from your bank accounts and credit cards to transact on associated sites or merchant portals. But BHIM has been designed to make transfer money between bank accounts simpler. And unlike wallets, you don’t have to pay to move money to the bank accounts.

To make payment from BHIM app both parties don’t need to have BHIM app installed. To transfer money, all you will need are bank account details or VPA (virtual payment address) or simply the registered mobile number linked with receiver’s UPI account.

Unlike the plethora of Mobile Wallets apps, BHIM doesn’t offer cashback and other promotional offers. But yes, the transaction limit is way beyond what is permitted with e-wallets.

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Switch Between Accounts

To use multiple bank accounts with BHIM app one has to switch accounts as you can only use one account at a time. To do so one has to go to Bank Accounts option and then click on the three dots menu in the top right corner and select Change Account option. Once you do that it will take you to the screen where all the bank accounts are listed. Select the name of the bank and it will retrieve bank details from its database. Next Setup your VPA and now you can make transactions from this account.

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Transaction Limits

At present, BHIM app lets users transact up to Rs. 10,000 in a single transaction and Rs. 20,000 within 24 hours time. That’s more than what any wallet can facilitate for now.

List of banks supported by BHIM

As of now, only 32 banks supports BHIM app or UPI. The names of the supported banks are as follows:

Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, 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.

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As Secure As Another Payment App In India

The app is secured by a dual layer security protection. At the very start, it asks users to set-up a passcode and once you configure your bank account it will ask you to input UPI PIN. With this dual protection system, it becomes as secure as any other mobile wallet or any other banking system in India. We hope National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) works on adding Aadhar or biometric authentication to further strengthen its security.

Overview

BHIM app has the potential to take on existing wallets and UPI apps. It doesn’t rely on intermediaries and can be used to directly send and receive money in the bank account. As more and more people get aware of the BHIM app, we expect more and more people will be willing to accept swift payments from the app.

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In the last one month, we have seen a lot of vendors crying foul due to their Payment wallets running out of limits. BHIM app is something that could resolve that issue. BHIM is also something I would prefer for making payments to my tailor, plumber or my friend, but I am not sure if I would prefer this for making payments at the local grocery store or the Mother Dairy booth where time, proper customer support, and proper notification system within one app is of the essence. Using it on such rush terminals would involve risking the ire of 15 or so other customers queued up behind me.

App performance and speed have been great so far and we have no complaints on those fronts. But should a transaction be delayed, I need to be sure whom to reach out to.

BHIM App Advantages and Disadvantages 

Advantages:

  • Convenient to use
  • Easy to Set-up
  • Greater transaction limit as compared to wallet apps
  • It’s free

Disadvantages:

  • No dedicated customer support
  • No dependable notification system
  • No lucrative cashback offers

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