Whether India has really adopted digital or not would only be clear once data for the coming months is released, but what can be said with certainty is that there are enough avenues available if one wants to go digital.
While pre-demonetisation, the government had launched UPI and other services, post this it has rolled out BHIM and BharatQR, and is expected to launch AadhaarPay. In fact, PM Modi in Mann-ki-Baat lauded the initiative to go digital, urging the youth to teach BHIM transfers to 125 people commemorating the 125th anniversary of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
What is BHIM?
BHIM or Bharat Interface for Money is an app available both on iOS and Playstore. Built on the UPI platform, it operates much like a wallet, allowing transfer of money via input of mobile number or virtual address.
How to operate it?
You need to have Aadhaar linked to your bank account to use BHIM. Once that is done, BHIM asks you to set a password. And, then you can select your bank. If you don’t have m-pin, entering last 6 digits of debit card and expiry can help.
Are people using it?
As per latest data, BHIM has 17 million downloads with 7 million active users.
What are the benefits?
i. Supported by NPCI, which operates IMPS and UPI, BHIM is safe.
ii. Moreover, unlike wallet, BHIM does not require frequent recharges.
iii. It also supports QR code much like PayTM.
What else can you use?
There is also BharatQR now, which is an interoperable QR code,i.e., if you have Visa and merchant has Mastercard you can use BharatQR to make payment, which you couldn’t do earlier.
Govt will also be launching AadhaarPay soon which will allow fingerprint-based payments. For this you would not even need your phone; if the merchant has a smartphone, he will just use a fingerprint scanner and confirm your bank to authorise payments.