PM launches UPI based mobile payment app called BHIM

Soon after the demonetization of old currency notes, the government has been pushing cashless payments via digital mediums. Over the past few days, the government has also been holding ‘Digi Dhan Mela’ camps in different cities to educate and promote cashless transactions. Today, PM Narendra Modi has launched a rebranded version of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) app at the Digi Dhan Mela camp in Delhi. Called ‘BHIM’ which stands for Bharat Interface for Money, the app is developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and is available for Android smartphones via Google Play Store.

UPI apps went live earlier this year in August with 21 banks. However, the payments interface was integrated into the banking apps with other features too. The BHIM app, on the other hand, comes with a simple interface and is built for ease of use. The app is about 2MB in size. On starting the app, you will be asked to give permission to send an SMS and register your phone number. Once registered, you will be asked to set a 4-digit passcode, and then choose your bank. That’s it.

The BHIM app will empower the poorest of the poor, he said. “It is for the small merchant, farmers in far-flung areas, tribals. That’s why its name has been borrowed from the man who sacrificed his life for the downtrodden,” the prime minister said.

Adding that the BHIM app doesn’t even require an Internet connection since it can also work on simple feature phones, Modi said Aadhaar-based payments system would be added to the app in the next two weeks. “Currently, it is being security checked. After it is launched, BHIM will not need a mobile phone, internet or even a feature phone. It will only need your thumb (impression).”

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