The BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) App is a not just another ordinary mobile app but a kind of mobile wallet that does not store money on its platform. It links directly to your internet-enabled bank account and helps transfer money from one account to the other. It uses the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and this gives it the edge to connect 36 nationalised banks to its platform.
Simple interface with minimum clutter
Since the BHIM app has been promoted by the Govt of India, developers of the app have kept only those features that one is ever going to use while making digital payments. You can access all the essential features from the home screen itself. On the other hand, the interface of Paytm wallet and even other mobile wallets puts too many features in one place and the fact they have the ecommerce platform integrated does not help in locating and understanding their features in one go. This becomes a hurdle in widespread adoption by the masses, especially those who are not too well-versed with smartphones or even computing. However, what goes in favour of Paytm is that the app itself looks quite modern and fresh but looks too focused on youngsters rather than people of all age groups.
More secure due to the UPI pin
The BHIM app prompts for a passcode everytime you open it. Also, the transactions are secured with a UPI Pin. And since you do not remain signed in you don’t have to bother about losing money in case you lose your phone. On the other hand, you can stay signed into the Paytm app and require a the Paytm password to make transactions through the wallet. That’s one step less in security as compared to BHIM. So, to ensure additional security you need to keep your smartphone locked.
Before transacting through the BHIM app you need to attach your mobile-banking enabled bank account. You can only attach one bank account as of now and the details are securely linked at the backend by using your mobile number as common thread. It contains all the UPI services such as sending and requesting money. NPCI shall also add the fingerprint and Aadhaar based payments in BHIM come April.
You can send money using the beneficiary’s virtual payment address (VPA) such as xyz@upi or mobile number. You can also request money from a person who has activated UPI in his account. This option has been specifically designed for people who are short of money at some point in time and thus can borrow from a friend.
You can also make payments by scanning the Bharat QR Codes and likewise generate a Bharat QR code for yourself that others can use to send payments. These QR codes can be used to across all UPI apps. Paytm also has the option to scan QR codes to make payments but then those QR codes can be used within the Paytm network only. The digital payments apps that we’ve tried so far, all work smoothly, but the transaction speed primarily depends on your internet speed.
Direct link to your bank account
This is why we like BHIM app more. You do not need to store money in a proprietary platform such as the one provided by Paytm or other mobile wallets. Your money stays within your bank account and gets debited as and when you make a payment. Likewise you can receive money directly into your bank account and not any third-party mobile wallet. So, practically you can transact with users associated with 36 different banks. This is not the case with Paytm and other mobile wallets where only users attached to Paytm or other wallets can transact amongst them. Another beauty is that currently there are no charges associated with sending or receiving payments through the BHIM app or for that matter any UPI-based platform.
Digital payments platforms are growing and are bound to gain in popularity in future. What attracts more people to them is flexibility, free-of-cost transactions, and also security. While we can’t be 100% sure of security but other parameters are bound to propel BHIM ahead of others.