BHIM, the unified app for UPI-based payments launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 30th last year, has been generating a lot of buzz since its launch. According to a recent tweet put up by Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, the BHIM app has been successful in crossing 3 million downloads in just five days since its launch with over 500,000 transactions done. But, unfortunately, iOS users have been missing out on all the action since the app was only available for Android users. Well, not anymore.

The BHIM app, which has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is expected to make its iOS debut in about 10 days from now. Along with the iOS version, the app, which is currently only available in Hindi and English, will also come out with several more multilingual versions.

BHIM in the BHIM app stands for Bharat Interface for Money. The app, which is topping the Google Play Store charts in India just a few days after its launch, has been named BHIM after Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar.

The app allows payments via the United Payments Interface (UPI), which makes sure that money is debited or credited directly to a user’s bank account. For those users who don't have UPI on their bank accounts yet, BHIM also supports transfers via MMID and IFSC code. UPI payments is preferred as against any other method as it only requires a Virtual Payee Address and a user doesn’t have to remember and share his/her bank details, thus reducing the risks of any fraud or theft. BHIM is also expected to support Aadhaar-based payments in the future.

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The BHIM app binds together with the user’s device and mobile number. The users are required to set up a pin to login into the BHIM app each time they want to use it. There's another pin called the UPI Pin, which is required to carry out the transactions on the app.

For those sceptical about using the app due to the recent fraud and theft cases regarding mobile payments, the BHIM app developers have a three factors of authentication at place. There's one that binds the app with the device and mobile number, the second one that requires a login pin, and finally, the third one in which a separate authentication pin is required. To make the security tighter, even for regenerating their UPI Pin, a user is required to have access to their debit card details.

The government has also decided to provide UPI payments integration to USSD platform where a user can just simply dial *99# from their feature phones or even smartphones and carry out UPI based transactions without having to depend on the internet. Since India has an internet penetration of just 34.8 %, this move was well-needed.

What's interesting to note is that Paytm, one of the most famous and used mobile wallets in India after the demonetisation phase is also supporting UPI to let users load their wallets. As previously stated, UPI is a direct bank-to-bank payment method, but for now the BHIM app has put a daily limit of Rs. 20,000.

[Top Image: digit.in]

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