BHIM app users are being warned from accepting payments from unknown virtual payment addresses (VPAs) by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The body posted on Twitter in reply to a user’s tweet that they were getting spam payment requests from unknown VPAs on the app; NPCI has promised an update which will allow users to report spam.
NPCI wrote in their tweet, “Users pls beware: Decline all unknown payment requests you may get! We will work on an update, which will allow you to report spam.” Twitter user Kaushik Bhat wrote on Twitter saying, “Anyone gettin spam payment requests on @NPCI_BHIM? There should be an option to block unknown VPAs. Might lose money if u accept unknowingly.” Of course, as some users have pointed out for an actual transaction to take place on such spam requests a user will need to put in his pin as well to authenticate the transaction.
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Nonetheless, the spam requests are a problem. The idea of a simple VPA on BHIM means it is easy for people to figure out the ID and send spam requests. In BHIM, the UPI id is usually a person’s mobile number@UPI although a user has the option of creating a differentiated VPA as well.
The spam problem raises issues about the app and its usage. Looks like NPCI has just woken up to the idea of blocking spam which should have been considered in the first. The app is clearly popular in India, if you go by Niti Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant comment that BHIM app has crossed over 3 million and seen over 5 lakh transactions since it launched. The app has also been topping Google Play Store charts.
Check out the tweets below
Users pls beware: Decline all unknown payment requests you may get! We will work on an update, which will allow you to report spam. http://t.co/DsiVtGO2Y7
— BHIM (@NPCI_BHIM) January 4, 2017
The app is said to be more secure due to its three factor authentication; one pin required for login, the mobile number and device binding is needed to link to bank account, and a final UPI pin is needed to go ahead with the transaction. BHIM app will be made available on iOS in the coming days, according to a tweet from Kant. It will also be getting multi-regional language spport in the coming days.
BHIM is based on Unified payments interface, and is being seen as a challenger to mobile wallets across the country. Only a users UPI id is needed to make the transaction, which is directly credited or debited from a user’s bank account.