Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched Bharat Interface for Money – BHIM – an app that lets users make payments using Unified Payment Interface.
Only available on Android for now, the app lets users pay and receive money with no processing fee. A transaction cost, however, may be levied by the user’s bank. For now, the app lists 30 banks including SBI, HDFC, ICICI, Union Bank of India, South India Bank, and Standard Chartered, among others. To find the app on the Play Store, search for BHIM UPI, else what you will end up with is a list of Chhota Bheem apps!
For a transaction to happen, both, the sender and the receiver must have an account with a bank that has UPI enabled. The account holder does not need to have mobile banking activated as the App automatically fetches user data, but the user’s mobile number must be registered with the bank.
We did a quick check of the app and here’s what you need to know
The installation process is pretty simple. You need to select your preferred language. For now, it just lists English and Hindi. We assume there will soon be provision for regional languages as well. Following this, you create a four-digit password for the app, which it will ask you every time you log in.
You then need to grant the app permission to read/send SMS from your phone – this is when the app checks which banks have your mobile number linked to it, and the data is then fetched.
Once done, it will list the 30-odd banks and you can choose your preferred bank. The drawback here, however, is that if you have UPI on two banks, you can only link one, for now. So if you want to switch, you have to disable the selected one and go back to the bank selection option.
If you’ve already created a UPI account, it will fetch the data for you. If not, you need to feed in the last six digits of your debit card and the expiry date. You then create a UPI pin. Once done, you can begin sending/receiving money through the app by using the beneficiary’s mobile number/UPI handle or QR code. The benefit here is that you no longer need the persons IFSC code, bank account number, etc. You just need their mobile number or alternatively, their UPI payment address which reads something like xyz@upi. The person you are sending or receiving money from also needs to have a UPI account.
I tested the app by sending money to myself and the transaction took a few seconds.
On the flip side, the app is not available on iOS and Windows, both of which have a substantial user base in India.
What do you think of the BHIM app? Let us know in the comment section below.