Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the BHIM app for UPI payments on December 30, and the app has already topped charts on the Google Play Store.
For about two months till the launch of the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), more than a dozen people at a New Delhi company slogged it out, spending sleepless nights to ensure that the app was safe and that the security loopholes were plugged before it went live.
This dedicated team comprised employees of Lucideus Tech, one of the cybersecurity companies that provided security for the app developed by the National Payment Corporation of India and launched by the Prime Minister.
BHIM is a digital payments solution app based on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). If you have signed up for UPI based payments on your respective bank account, which is also linked to your mobile number, then you’ll be able to use the BHIM app to conduct digital transactions.
BHIM app will let you send and receive money to other non-UPI accounts or addresses. You can also send money via IFSC and MMID code to users, who don’t have a UPI-based bank account.
Additionally, there’s the option of scanning a QR code and making a direct payment. Users can create their own QR code for a certain fixed amount of money, and then the merchant can scan it and the deduction will be made.
“Right now, business happens by the way of notes and coins. That day is not far when all business transactions will be conducted through the BHIM app,” 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.”
Even without a smartphone or an Internet connection, anyone can use BHIM to make payments.You need to dial *99# from any kind of mobile phone, and this will show a menu – by typing in different numbers you can choose to send money, check your balance, or see transaction history.
To start using the app for the first time, you need to verify it once using an OTP. Some users have reported issues in getting this OTP, and others have reported freezes with the app. In our experience, the app was easy to set up and use.