The push for cashless India has been aggressive in the recent past, thanks to the ongoing demonetization efforts and the apparent shortage of cash. Today, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has launched BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money), an app that will make use of Aadhar card authentication to make cashless transactions. As of now, the app is only available for Android but soon we can expect the same to go live for iOS and other platforms as well.
Provided the app gains sufficient traction it can further ease the burden of people and also compete with the likes of other payment systems including PayTM, Freecharge, and MobiKwik. That said, as of now, BHIM app is mostly centered around making and receiving payments, unlike PayTM and others who offer an array of services including mobile recharge and bus ticket booking. Also, it’s not a wallet per se as it’s directly linked to your bank account(s).
Where to download the BHIM App?
Downloading and installing the app shouldn’t actually be a problem since it is already up on Google Playstore and will be soon launched for other platforms.
This is the part that is quite impressive, unlike other apps, BHIM has aimed for a simplistic approach and due to this, it doesn’t distract you with a slew of other services. The app links up with your bank account with just your phone number. I just had to punch in my phone number and all my bank accounts associated with the mobile number cropped up. In the background, the app will request for an OTP and authenticate the same before letting you access. That said, you don’t need any bank account credentials and just a cell phone number will suffice. Please note that you must have linked your Aadhaar account number with your bank for the account to appear in the list.
The BHIM UI is simplistic and is made up of three primary functions, Send Money, Request Money and Scan and Pay. Send Money, lets you send money by typing in the UPI address which is the “phone number@UPI” Similarly one can request the money from a user by punching in their UPI address in the “Request Tab”. Additionally one can also scan the QR code of the merchant in order to send/receive the money, just like how it works with PayTM and other mobile wallets.
How to Check your Bank Balance on the BHIM app?
The app offers a feature to check your account balance by heading over to “Bank Account” and selecting “Request Balance,” However this feature started throwing up an error and is most likely to be fixed in the future builds. The app currently supports Hindi and English and new languages might be added soon.
How to use QR Codes to make and Receive Payments on Bhim App?
The QR code will ease out the payment process as all one needs to do is simply point out their mobile camera at the code without the need to punch in the numbers. The merchants can simply download the QR codes and take a printout and display it at the payment counter. The app doesn’t levy charges for the transfer but however since it is based on UPI the nominal transfer charges will still be levied by the concerned Banks. Again on this front, I faced a problem, the QR scanner on the app refused to work and asked me to restart my device and even after restarting the app showed the same error.
Linking multiple accounts on BHIM app?
As of now, the app doesn’t allow linking multiple accounts and in case you want to change your account, go to the Bank Accounts and unlink your current account and add a new one, however, this means that you will no more be able to access the unlinked account. So, it’s not a typical “switch”, but “change” of accounts. Also, note that your UPI username will remain the same even after you change the accounts.
How to Change UPI PIN on the BHIM app?
UPI PIN is a four digit number that is needed to authenticate the transactions, akin to the four-digit ATM PIN. Changing UPI is pretty easy, head over to Bank accounts and select “Reset UPI PIN.” Subsequently, you will be prompted to enter the last 6 digits of your debit/ATM card and then will receive an OTP. Please note that the UPI PIN will be common for all the UPI apps.
How to Change UPI Username in BHIM App?
What if you don’t want your number in the UPI address and instead prefer a name or any alpha numeric character. Well, the app comes with an option that lets you change your UPI username. Firstly open the “My Profile” section, click on “Add Payment address” It is here that you can mention your UPI address and add the same. At any instance one can have multiple UPI address and can also choose to make any one of the address as primary address.