BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is a Mobile App developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), based on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). The app is named after Bhim Rao Ambedkar and is intended to facilitate e-payments directly through banks and as part of the 2016 Indian banknote demonetization and drive towards cashless transactions. This UPI app is built over the Immediate Payment Service infrastructure which allows user to instantly transfer money. The BHIM app has registered 1.9 crore downloads in four months since its launch in December creating a world record. Everyone in the government is promoting BHIM—the PM promoting to use BHIM app in Mann Ki Baat radio programme and asking smartphone manufacturers to pre-install the app in phones; and district magistrates are conducting Digi-Dhan Melas to push adoption of the BHIM app.
Bhim provides a smartphone front-end to make bank-to-bank payments. The app is designed in such a way that the process of transferring money becomes error free while doing any number of transactions in a day. BHIM app logs you out automatically after 90 seconds when not in use which secures the misuse of your phone in your absence. Unlike credit cards or debit cards, the BHIM app does not require any POS terminal or swiping machine to transfer money. Currently, BHIM app is running on a highly secured network which is certified with the best global practices like PCI, ISO 27001, DSS. The app works without any disruption despite changing your mobile network operator which gives you a lot of relief while switching your SIM card. The beauty of the app lies in its simplicity, it has an uncluttered and simple user-interface (UI), and the transaction experience is fast. It also works on basic phones. Most users consider transactions on Bhim to be safe because it has government backing. And combining the superior user experience with UPI’s low transaction cost (currently free for both payers and payees) means that we finally have a payments app that can genuinely compete with cash on both convenience and price. This is an attractive app for small merchants, who do multiple, quick small ticket transactions and are wary of going digital. Less tech savvy users struggle at different stages of the on-boarding process and are confused by the jargons like passcode, UPI PIN, etc. There is a clear need for greater guidance in helping a user make the first transaction.
A targeted market strategy is needed to convert the initial interest of users into active use. Make on-boarding simpler for less tech-savvy users by giving them a simple guided flow on each screen that walks users through the process. After that a guided flow explaining how to transact can help users make their transactions. A short video can be embedded in the app explaining its key features. The finance minister announced two schemes for promoting Bhim a referral scheme and a merchant cash back scheme. Drive behaviour change by targeting the right transactions like payments at kirana stores, pharmacies, public distribution system outlets, public transport, and remittances account for about 45% share of the household wallet. Therefore efforts to drive these transactions by doing a campaign to bring merchants such as kirana store owners, on Bhim. A similar push is needed across other networks where many users transact daily like petrol pumps, railways, public transport systems, hospitals, etc. Banks could be mandated to take steps to increase this penetration rate through an SMS campaign for customers. Bhim holds great potential to help India become a cashless economy.
Prime Minister launched two new initiative schemes-Cashback and Referral bonus. These schemes have an outlay of Rs 495 rupees for a period of six months. These schemes will provide a major impetus to the digital payments in India.
- Under Referral bonus scheme both the existing user who refers BHIM app and the new user who adopts BHIM app would get a cash bonus of Rs 10 per referral credited directly to their account. The scheme will run until 14 October 2017.
- Under Cashback scheme, the merchants will get a cash back on every transaction using BHIM.
BHIM app is different from most of other mobile wallets. Unlike mobile wallets, where you can only store a limited amount of money in a wallet and send it to users of the same wallet only, the BHIM app is UPI based and can be directly linked to your bank accounts. BHIM app is supported by a long list of banks, such as the Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, Dena Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDFC Bank, Indian Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India, Syndicate Bank and many others.
BHIM app is different from other mobile wallets available to us .It is safe, simple to use and convenient to use. It will bring revolution in digital transactions.
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