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Financial Planning

10 Things you must know about the BHIM App

11 April 2017
Wondering what the BHIM App is and why you should care? Here's what you need to know!

The BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) App was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 30 December 2016. The main aim was to facilitate easy cashless payments post demonetisation. Here are some things about the BHIM app that you should know.

Q1. What is it?
A1. The BHIM app is an aggregator of United Payments Interface (UPI) services across various banks, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

Q2. What does it do?
A2. It enables a range of cashless transactions across any two bank accounts, via a smartphone. These can be conducted either online via the internet, or offline via Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) – the same GSM technology used to transmit text messages.

Related: 6 Practical ways to stay updated on money matters

Q3. What is needed to operate the app?
A3. You will need a smartphone, your mobile number registered to your bank account, a Visa, Maestro or RuPay debit card, and the BHIM App (available for Android phones and iPhones).

Q4. What can the app be used for?
A4. The app can be used for different kinds of transactions.

  • Consumers can
    • Send money to friends and family at no cost
    • Scan and pay for purchases, using QR code at shops
    • Shop or pay online by clicking on “Pay by UPI”
    • Check account balance and transaction history
  • Merchants can
    • Receive payments directly and seamlessly into their bank accounts, at no cost
    • Download QR code and display it to enable payments by customers

Q5. What are the hidden costs?
A5. None. This is especially attractive for small merchants, whose bottom-lines are adversely affected by the 1% to 2% transactions fees levied by other modes of payments.

Q6. So, how do I start?
A6. Setting up and using the app is extremely easy.

  • Download the BHIM app from the App/ Play store and open the app
  • Select your desired language, verify your mobile number via an SMS sent by NPCI
  • Once your number is verified, select your choice of bank
  • You will receive an alert to set up your UPI Pin (MPIN)
  • Enter the last 6 digits and expiry month/ year of the debit card for the bank account selected by you
  • Set up desired 6-digit MPIN

Your profile page will look like this:

Q7. How to start transacting using BHIM App?
A7. To the app, you as a consumer or merchant are identified by either your OR code or your payment address, as per the sample shown above.

To pay a merchant or person who has a QR code displayed, physically on their counter, or on their phone, simply click the ‘Scan and Pay’ option, scan the code, enter the amount, and your MPIN to confirm the transfer. That’s it.

  • Or, you can enter their payment address, the amount, confirm with your MPIN and make the transfer
  • If their UPI address is not known to you, but you have their bank account details. Then choose the option for the same from the menu – “Account No. + IFSC”
    • Make the transfer by entering their account number, IFSC, the desired amount
    • Confirm with your MPIN and send
  • You can also request money like so:

  • Q8. What if you don’t have a smartphone?
    A8. No need to worry, BHIM works for everyone.

  • Open your call option, dial *99#
  • Select language, enter the first four digits of your desired bank name/bank short code or IFSC code, press ‘Reply’
  • Select the desired account (applicable if more than 1 account is held in the same bank against your mobile number)
  • Enter [last 6 digits of debit card] SPACE [MM/YY expiry date], press ‘Reply’
  • Enter and confirm desired UPI Pin/MPIN
  • Once you have registered, any time you dial *99# and press ‘call’, you will be taken to the BHIM landing page for non-smartphones, pictured below:

  • All transactions listed can be carried out by sending and replying to the instruction SMS.
  • Q9. But anyone can open the app and use it on my phone, right?
    A9. Wrong. The app auto-exits after 90 seconds of inactivity to ensure that such a thing does not happen.

    Related: Go the plastic way! [infographic]

    Q10. What happens if I switch handsets or mobile operators?
    A10. Nothing. As long as your mobile number is the same, BHIM does not get affected by handset changes or number porting to a different operator.

    Interesting. I'm in! BHIM me up!


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