BHIM App: India’s Move Towards Cashless Economy

With the goal of moving towards a cashless economy, the government of India recently launched the BHIM app. Acronym for Bharat Interface for Money, the app is an upgraded version of the United Payment Interface (UPI) and is seen by market experts as a vital tool, which will push digital cash transfers in a huge way. The present government’s move to demonetize the Rs.500 and Rs. 1,000 currency note resulted in the increased use of mobile wallets. Though the Internet has made inroads in the Indian economy, with the number of smartphone users growing at a rapid pace – the fact remains that a huge section of the Indian population does not use online medium for financial transactions. The BHIM app is launched by the Indian government to help the masses switch to online financial transactions.

Cashless economy and mobile wallets

One of the best ways in which the money flow can be tracked is by bringing down the cash flow in the economy. With less circulation of paper currency in the market, it gets easier to trace the flow of black money, which is ultimately routed to terror activities. A cashless economy is only possible when the majority of the population is within the financial net and uses the online platforms for its daily financial transactions.

When demonetization came into effect in India, the one major change which took place was a spike in the number of mobile wallet downloads. PayTM and OlaMoney were among the few mobile wallets that witnessed almost a 200% rise in its download. There is a good section of the Indian population which is apprehensive about using these wallets. It is to instill confidence among these users that the government launched BHIM app.

Is BHIM better than other mobile wallets?

BHIM works on principle “one app to rule them all,” making it easier to transfer funds between different bank accounts. Other mobile wallets do not provide this freedom as they lack the interoperability needed for fund transfers across various wallet operators. Another advantage that BHIM provides over the regular mobile wallets is the upper limit of cash transfer. Unlike the regular wallets, this app from the government allows users to transfer up to Rs. 6 lakh in a month.

Technically, BHIM has been built on a clean interface and is powered by multiple security features. The fact that the app is just 2MB in size shows the far-sightedness of the government. Being small in size, not only can BHIM be easily downloaded, but those with (a huge section of the population) slow internet connections can easily use this wallet. Also as the number of Android users are far more than the iOS users, the app was first rolled out for the Android platform. The app will be launched for iOS platform soon.

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