The government’s very own payment application BHIM that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched on New Year’s eve to boost cashless transactions is supported by 30 banks that have so far launched Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-enabled mobile applications.
UPI, a payments system, was first announced in April 2016 by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) along with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) while BHIM is a UPI-supported payment application, working on the lines of mobile wallet companies such as Paytm and MobiKwik.
Like Paytm or Freecharge and other such applications, BHIM will let users transfer money to anyone with a UPI-enabled bank account, or even a regular bank account through IFSC code.
”BHIM, which is the government’s very own version of Paytm, is developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) – the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in the country.
UPI is the platform while BHIM is a separate mobile wallet app, similar to Paytm, Mobikwik, Freecharge and others.
The UPI platform has already enabled all major banks to offer the services that BHIM is now offering. However, for different banks, customers will need to use separate UPI apps and VPAs (Virtual Payment Address), similar to unique email IDs.
So, a person with two accounts, say in ICICI and HDFC, respectively, will have to use separate UPI apps and generate unique VPAs to enable UPI transactions on both the accounts.
For example, if the customer’s name is Asish, he will have to get something like ‘asish@icici’ and ‘asish@hdfcbank’ as VPAs to transact between the ICICI and HDFC accounts instantly.
BHIM is supported by almost all banks that offer UPI-supprted applications. These include:
- Allahabad Bank
- Andhra Bank
- Axis Bank
- Bank of Baroda
- Bank of Maharashtra
- Canara Bank
- Catholic Syrian Bank
- Central Bank of India
- DCB Bank
- Dena Bank
- Federal Bank
- HDFC Bank
- ICICI Bank
- IDBI Bank
- IDFC Bank
- Indian Bank
- Indian Overseas Bank
- IndusInd Bank
- Karnataka Bank
- Karur Vysya Bank
- Kotak Mahindra Bank
- Oriental Bank of Commerce
- Punjab National Bank
- RBL Bank
- South Indian Bank
- Standard Chartered Bank
- State Bank of India
- Syndicate Bank
- Union Bank of India
- United Bank of India
- Vijaya Bank
Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) claims to enable fast, secure, reliable cashless payments through mobile phone. BHIM is interoperable with other Unified Payment Interface (UPI) applications, and bank accounts. BHIM is developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). BHIM is made in India and dedicated to the service of the nation.
For using the BMHI app, one has to register his/her bank account with BHIM, and set a UPI PIN for the bank account. The mobile number is the payment address (PA), and the system is ready for transacting.
Send / Receive Money: Send money to or receive money from friends, family and customers through a mobile number or payment address. Money can also be sent to non UPI supported banks using IFSC and MMID. You can also collect money by sending a request and reverse payments if required.
Check Balance: You can check your bank balance and transactions details on the go.
Custom Payment Address: You can create a custom payment address in addition to your phone number.
QR Code: You can scan a QR code for faster entry of payment addresses. Merchants can easily print their QR Code for display.
Transaction Limits: Maximum of Rs10,000 per transaction and Rs20,000 within 24 hours.
The app is currently supported by Hindi and English and more regional languages will be added soon, according to NPCI.