Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched an original digital payments app 'BHIM' that will allow fast and safe cashless transactions using mobile phones.
Named after the architect of the Indian Constitution, Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) are a simplified payment stage meant to make Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and USSD payment modes easier and available across feature phones and smartphones.
"The day is not far, when people will conduct their business through this app...It is a simple app and you can download it on your smartphones or feature phones. You don't even require an internet connection for this," Modi said in his address at 'DigiDhan Mela' here.
Developed by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), BHIM is supported by host of banks, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Punjab National Bank, among others.
The app can be downloaded from Google Play store. It is currently available in Hindi and English language. In future, the app will also support more languages.
BHIM is interoperable with other Unified Payment Interface (UPI) applications and bank accounts.
"We all want our country to develop, become economically stronger and a resurgent nation. Through Digital India initiative, the country has taken a giant leap towards that direction," IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Users can now register their bank account with BHIM and set a UPI PIN for the account. The mobile number acts as the user's identifier, allowing transactions like sending or receiving money.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, "It is only a matter of time before the entire country goes digital."
Digital payments company MobiKwik's Founder and CEO Bipin Preet Singh said: "this will further strengthen digital payment system and add to building of a cashless economy."
"Going forward, we hope that provisions would be made for adding e-wallets on UPI enabling people to pay through bank accounts or e-wallets using the BHIM app," Singh added.
Trupay Co-Founder Rahul Gochhwal said, "UPI is the most advanced payment system in the world. This will develop the overall payments ecosystem in the country."
BY M. DIVYA SRI