BHIM or Bharat Interface for Money was launched by PM Narendra Modi in January 2017. It is a digital payments app named after Dr BR Ambedkar Rao.
BHIM app supports Aadhar-based payments where the transaction will be made possible through fingerprint impressions. However, this service is yet to be rolled. As of now, it is available for Android, but iOS and Windows will be made available soon.
What is BHIM app?
BHIM is a digital payment app based on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). NPCI is the broader umbrella for all the retail payments in India. One can use BHIM for payments if he/she has signed up for UPI- based payments through their bank accounts and has registered a mobile number for digital transactions.
BHIM allows users to send and receive money to other UPI users. One can also send money via IFSC and MMID code to non-UPI based account holders.
Another advantage is that a BHIM user can also generate a Quick Response (QR) code for sending a fixed amount which the merchant can scan to make the deduction.
How is BHIM different from other e-wallets?
Other e-wallets like Paytm or MobiKwik allows the users to send money to the people using the same wallet.
BHIM cannot be called an e-wallet. The biggest advantage of using BHIM is that the user does not have to take out money from his bank account and transfer in his/her e-wallet and vice versa as e-wallets are a semi-closed system. Also, bank-to-bank transfer of money is widely accepted, easier and quicker than merchant-to-merchant transfers like in the case of Paytm and MobiKwik.
However, BHIM, being a UPI-based digital payments solution, is linked directly to a user’s bank account. If the payee has a UPI activated bank account, the user can send the money on his virtual payment address.
Also, unlike other e-wallets, BHIM has an option of IFSC and MMID for sending or receiving money. One does not need to remember bank account numbers. VPA is the only number needed. Payments worth Rs. 10,000 can be sent in one transaction and up to Rs. 20,000 in 24 hours.
It is much better than Paytm because the money which you transfer will directly go to your account, not an in-between wallet.
Which all banks support BHIM?
As of now thirty banks including all major national banks like 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 and Vijaya Bank, support BHIM.
How does BHIM work?
Once you have downloaded the app, BHIM lets you choose the preferred bank once it has verified your mobile number. Once the number is verified using the SMS sent on your registered number, BHIM will ask for a 4-digit passcode.
Then the app will ask you to choose your bank. If your account is UPI activated, it will reflect the relevant number. Post this, it will show options to send or receive money and transact via IFSC. If your account is not UPI activated, you need to put in six digits of your debit card number, expiry date before the app allows you to use it.
To send money, type in the mobile number or VPA of the payee. Once BHIM verifies the payee, type in the amount and click on pay. If the payee does not have UPI, tap on the three dots above to see more options. The “ACCOUNT+IFSC” option will open up where you can put in the details.
One of the major disadvantages, as of now, is that if your mobile number is linked to two or more accounts, you will have to disable the selected one and go back to bank options each time you need to make a transaction.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting Union Budget 2017-2018, proudly announced that this app is currently being used by 125 lakh people. Enabling BHIM to send or receive money to both UPI activated accounts and non-UPI activated accounts indicate that the government has decided to build one app that will facilitate digital payments.
Here is a video explaining how to download and use the app: