BHIM has become one of the most commonly used applications for making cashless transactions. The poster child of India's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) movement is at the top of every chart. In fact, here are some stats to prove the success of this application:
Launched on 30th December 2016, BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is an application that enables cashless transactions directly through your bank account by using your mobile number, QR code, or unique digital identity. Developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
For a cash-centric country like India, the prominence of the digital payment ecosystem came to light post demonetization. The government's push for a cashless economy, initiatives for financial inclusion, and the Coronavirus Pandemic have propelled the growth of all digital payment Apps.
In the race for digital payments, there are multiple contenders like homegrown PayTm to big tech giant Google's Gpay. Regardless of the winner, one clear winner is the Indian government and consumers.
BHIM has paved the way for a wider scale of acceptance for digital payment and is currently accepted by 102 banks as a payment partner. Unlike other popular payment wallets available in the market, UPI payments do not require a third-party wallet, also known as digital wallets that store cash.
Consumers simply need to link their bank accounts with the BHIM app and enjoy the ease of payments to the vendors or other registered users.
Named after the former minister of law and justice, India - BR Ambedkar, the BHIM app acts as a database and facilitator for all UPI (Unified Payments Interface) services across various banks. Since its inception, the app has been at the forefront of curating a digital infrastructure to streamline financial transactions all across India.
Apart from streamlining, here are a few more benefits of using the app:-
The BHIM app was not only launched by the government, but it's also supported by it. This is what makes BHIM the most secure and reliable cashless payment option. The app also goes through multiple verifications:
The best part about this app is that you don't need an internet connection to transfer funds from one bank account to another. However, in order to avail this service, you need to dial *99# from the registered mobile number, and it will show a welcome screen with three different options, namely:
The most prominent unique selling proposition of BHIM is that it works effortlessly across almost all banks and users. So you don't need to use separate apps for multiple bank accounts in different banks.
So, for instance, if you have a bank account in ICICI, HDFC, and two other UPI-enabled banks, you can set up all the accounts with all the functions on the BHIM app. This will allow you to transact cashlessly, save your time to switch from one app to another, and the hassle of having multiple mobile wallet accounts.
While transacting online, authenticity and security are one of the primary concerns. That's where the BHIM application stands apart from the crowd as it includes three levels of authentication, including device ID/mobile number, the bank account which you're linking to this app, and the UPI PIN to complete the transactions.
A Step-by-Step on how to use the BHIM App:
Step 1: Download and install the BHIM app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Step 2: Select your preferred language.
Step 3: Select the mobile number registered with the bank.
Step 4: Link your bank account using the bank account option presented on the application window.
Step 5: Set your UPI PIN by providing the last six digits of your debit card and expiry date.
How to Send Money or Pay Using the BHIM App?
Step 1: Log in to your BHIM account
Step 2: Click on "send" and enter the UPI ID of your recipient.
Click on "scan & pay" and scan the QR code of the merchant/person you want to send the money to.
Step 3: Enter the UPI PIN you set earlier for authenticating the transaction.
Step 4: That's it!
You can also check the transaction status on the app.
As the name suggests, this app's "Send Money" feature allows you to send money using a unique VPA (Virtual Payment Address) or a bank account number and IFSC code or even by scanning a QR code.
The "request money" feature enables you to initiate a collect request via the VPA. You can also collect using your mobile number if it is registered with the bank and the BHIM app.
Note: Linking your mobile number with the bank account is mandatory to use the BHIM app features efficiently.
Another exciting feature that the BHIM app offers is Scan & Pay. This feature allows you to scan and pay through a QR code or generate your own QR code to receive a payment.
In addition to checking transaction history, this feature also highlights the pending UPI collect requests (if any) so you can approve or deny the payment request.
Note: If there's an issue with the digital transaction due to any reason, you can always report the problem via the "Report issue" tab.
By leveraging this feature, you can check the bank account linked with the BHIM app. And not just that, you can set/change the UPI PIN, bank account, and also check your account balance.
BHIM supports almost all major banks in India, namely:
To get a detailed list of BHIM app bank partners on the NPCI website.
What Are the Transaction Limits on BHIM?
To address security and fraud concerns, the NCPI has placed a set of limits for UPI apps, including BHIM. The limit on BHIM payments are:
These limits extend to all bank accounts related to the BHIM app. Currently, the maximum amount of INR 100000 can be transferred, as per the NPCI and Indian government-defined UPI guidelines.
India is the highest remittance-receiving country in the world. Any conversation on FinTech and Payment App in India would be incomplete without addressing if it can facilitate international money transfer.
Multiple digital payment apps have tested the cross-border payment feature, including Google's Gpay. In 2021, Google teamed up with money transfer companies Wise and Western Union to allow Gpay users in the United States to send money to Gpay users in India. So again, it is more of a remittance funding feature, much like how you would send money through Xoom by paying with your PayPal balance.
The delay in opening up payment apps to cross-border payments is largely due to its regulatory and technological complexities. While the technology has caught on, regulatory complexities are likely to hinder the pace of growth, at least in the international remittance sector - albeit frustrating.
For BHIM, the Indian government seems to be on the right track. In November 2019, BHIM went international in Singapore with a pilot demo of BHIM UPI QR-based payments. The demo at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2019 is BHIM's first appearance to cement its global ambition.
It will likely be operational at a wider scale by the end of 2022.
BHIM's first international foray builds upon the NPCI's partnership with Singapore's Liquid Group, which will allow BHIM app users to make UPI Quick Response (QR) code-based payments at merchants in North Asia and South-East Asia.
In July 2021, the BHIM app was launched in Bhutan in collaboration with the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan. Making Bhutan the first country to adopt UPI standards for its Quick Response (QR) code, and the second country after Singapore to have BHIM-UPI enabled merchant locations that accept mobile-based payments through the BHIM App.
The answer is no. It will be interesting to see if the government-backed payment platforms can beat the rest in the race. Ultimately, the winners will be Indian households receiving money from Indians living abroad.
The best way to send money to India is online through a money transfer service provider. Always compare the money transfer offers on CompareRemit for free, and pick the one that offers the best exchange rate and lowest fees.
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