On 31st December 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a UPI (United Payments Interface) based app called BHIM, short for Bharat Interface for Money. Within 48 hours of being launched, the BHIM app is now on the top of Google Play store download charts in India. Yes, BHIM is free to download, and is currently number one on the Google Play Top Free list.
The app allows anyone to make simple digital payments directly from their bank account, and it is now available for download. It is very different as compared to mobile wallets like Paytm and MobiKwik as it also allows sending money to people who don't have the app.
BHIM has more than 1 million downloads and 4.2 rating on the Play Store and has received reviews from more than 86,000 users in just over three days of its launch. Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant tweeted that it has been downloaded 3,000,000 times, and that it has seen 500,000 transactions already.
— Amitabh Kant (@amitabhk87) January 2, 2017
The USP for the app according to PM Modi is, "be it a smartphone or feature phone of Rs 1,000-1,200, BHIM app can be used. There is no need to have Internet connectivity." The BHIM app by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is available for download on Google Play.
The reviews showcase a few recurring problems of screen freeze and glitches. The official BHIM app account had also tweeted that they were facing an issues due to overwhelming response from public. An update called ‘#GoCashlessIndia’ was also launched for its users.
To start using the free Android app, you'll have to register your bank account through the app, and set a UPI PIN. Your mobile number is your payment address, and you can start transacting. Through the app, you can send or receive money to a phone number, check balance, or scan a QR code to make a payment without sharing a phone number.
There are no charges on payments levied by the app, but the bank might charge a nominal fee for UPI usage. Majority of Indian banks support the BHIM app.