Unified Payment Interface (UPI) launched months before government’s demonetization of high-value currencies was a step towards changing India to a cashless digital economy. The new payment system which allowed users to instantly and securely send and receive money using a smartphone went live with 21 Indian banks.
But the payment interface was integrated differently by many banks. Some banks have integrated with its own core banking app and some others launched individual UPI-based apps. So basically you end up with multiple apps, logins, and passcodes to remember. Some third party apps like PhonePe tried to unify the payment interface, but we were still waiting for an official app from the government.
The wait ends today as India government has launched Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) mobile app. A unified UPI app that lets you make easy and quick money transactions using UPI via your mobile phone. Developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), the BHIM app supports every other Unified Payment Interface (UPI) applications and bank accounts.
To get started with BHIM, you need a smartphone where you can download the BHIM app, active internet connection, an Indian bank account that supports UPI payments and mobile number linked to that specific bank account. The BHIM mobile app is available for both android [play.google.com] and iOS devices.
On the first run, the app will ask to verify your device and register your mobile number. The app will send an SMS from your mobile connection (one-time SMS charges as per your mobile plan) for verification. Once registered and verified you will be asked to set a four-digit passcode to secure the app.
Once logged in the app you can register your bank account and set a UPI PIN for the bank account. By default, your mobile number will be the primary virtual payment address (VPA), like 9876543210@upi. If you are looking for something more personal, you can customise the VPA to your needs like using your nickname rahul@upi (only alphabets and numbers are allowed). You can also add more than one bank account and quickly switch between them. Do note that any money that is transferred to your mobile number or payment address will be credited to your default bank account.
BHIM how to go cashless
- Use BHIM app to send and receive money.
- Your virtual payment address or mobile number will act as the unique ID to transfer and receive money.
- Can check bank balance and all transactions details on the go.
- Merchants can print their payment address as QR Code and display in front of the shops. Customers can scan the QR code using the BHIM app and send payments.
- All fund transfers are instant, 24/7 and 365 days.
- Users can send minimum Rs 1 and maximum Rs 10,000 per transaction. Also, there is a transaction limit of Rs 20,000 within 24 hours.
- BHIM app is currently available in Hindi and English languages.
There are no charges for making the transaction through BHIM app. But as the service utilises Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) banks may levy a nominal charge. Like to know more about UPI? then do check our previous article where we have explained in details on going cashless with UPI.
Recently government introduced Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), which allows you to do basic banking transactions using Aadhaar authentication. Merchants using Aadhaar Payment App or Aadhaar Pay can accept digital payment from customers.