NPCI’s new version of BHIM UPI app allows real-time fund transfer and supports three additional languages – Konkani, Bhojpuri and Haryanvi.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app on December 30, 2016, not many were sure how well it would fare. However, out of the total UPI transactions in January 2019, 13. 98 million transactions amounting to Rs 6,202.51 crore were conducted through BHIM app, said National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
This app, launched by NPCI, was credited with taking digital payments to India’s heartlands. The reason – it facilitated instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on a mobile platform, without requiring any detail of the beneficiary’s bank account.
Almost three years after its debut, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, launched BHIM 2.0 with new functionalities, increased transaction limits and additional language support.
According to NPCI, to make BHIM UPI app more feature-rich and effective, it has been enhanced with a bunch of new functionalities. These include a ‘Donation’ gateway, increased limits for high-value transactions, linking multiple bank accounts, offers from merchants, an option of applying in an initial public offering (IPO) and gifting money.
Additionally, the new version supports three additional languages – Konkani, Bhojpuri and Haryanvi – in addition to the existing 13 Indian languages.
BHIM has been unable to hold its own against private entities till date. In September 2019, it recorded 17.2 million transactions, which accounted for a mere 1.8 per cent of the total UPI transactions that month. The government wants to change this with the launch of BHIM 2.0.
So, BHIM app users can now access and operate multiple bank accounts. Additionally, while BHIM already facilitated payment service for utilities, the government has expanded the merchant network to enable users to buy products and services from them and pay through the app. Users just have to link their mobile phone number with a bank account to carry out transactions on the BHIM app.
India’s digital payments market has been seeing a steady uptick. Credit Suisse Group AG estimates that this domain will touch USD 1 trillion by 2023 from the current USD 200 billion. Another survey by ACI Worldwide and YouGov found that 42 per cent of Indian consumers prefer digital payments while doing their festive shopping. Some private players in this space include Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay and Amazon Pay.