Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app for cashless payments. The application can be set up in a matter of seconds, and allows for safe, secure and simple cashless transactions. It is not a mobile wallet, the app is inter-operable with Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and it connects directly to your bank account. The application is developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).
The setup is very fast and simple. The app verifies the phone number automatically. Note that the phone number used for the transactions has to be the same phone number registered with the bank for the account you intend to use. As of now, transactions are supported for only one account per user. The bank account menu allows users to change the bank account at any time.
There are three ways to transfer money, through a QR code, through a phone number, or through the UPI address. A QR code is available by default in the profile section. This can be saved to the phone as an image, or directly shared through instant messengers or email.
A phone number based UPI address is generated automatically, but users have the option of creating and saving additional UPI addresses. Security is through a UPI pin that has to be set up on start, and can be changed later on. Every time the app is launched, the pin is demanded. IFSC and MMID transactions are supported for banks without UPI.
The application allows users to check the bank balance directly from the app. There is a limit of Rs 10,000 per transaction, and a 24-hour limit of Rs 20,000.
As of now, only English and Hindi languages are available, but support for more languages is on the way. A long list of banks are supported, and the transactions happen instantly. There is no requirement for having an Aadhaar card, or an Aadhaar-linked bank account to use this application.
The application is simpler to use than mobile wallets, the transactions take place directly with the bank account.
The charges for UPI transactions levied by banks are applicable. More information is available at the Bhim FAQ.
The application is available for free on Android, supported on OS versions 2.3.3 and up.