|Initial release||30 December 2016|
|Available in||16 languages|
BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is an Indian mobile payment App developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Named after B. R. Ambedkar and launched on 30 December 2016, it is intended to facilitate e-payments directly through banks and drive towards cashless transactions.
The application supports all Indian banks which use UPI, which is built over the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) infrastructure and allows the user to instantly transfer money between bank accounts of any two parties. It can be used on all mobile devices.
BHIM allow users to send or receive money to or from UPI payment addresses, or to non-UPI based accounts (by scanning a QR code with account number and IFSC code or MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) Code).
Unlike mobile wallets (PayTM, MobiKwik, mPesa, Airtel Money, etc.) which hold money, the BHIM app is only a mechanism which transfers money between different bank accounts. Transactions on BHIM are nearly instantaneous and can be done 24/7 including weekends and bank holidays.
BHIM also allows users to check the current balance in their bank accounts and to choose which account to use for conducting transactions, although only one can be active at any time.
Version 1.3 allows users to use mobile numbers from their contact book to send money and also save payment addresses for future use without needing to type the address again. User can also check the transaction history, which only shows transactions through BHIM.
Transaction fees and limits
The minimum transaction amount is ₹1, and the maximum number of transactions per day is 10. If the 10-transactions-per-day limit has been reached, the user needs to wait for 24 hours from the last transaction before making another transaction.
Currently, the fund transfer limit has been set to a maximum of ₹20,000 per transaction and a maximum of ₹40,000 in a 24-hour period.
Indian banks have proposed transaction charges on UPI transactions, but there is no information on whether transactions through BHIM will also be charged.
BHIM app currently supports 20 languages (including English), though there are 22 scheduled languages of India (excluding English) under 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India. In the near future, BHIM is expected to support all 22 recognised languages of India along with Hindi, which is the only official language of India, and English (the use of which is permitted as long as the Parliament of India agrees).
During the 2017 Union budget of India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that BHIM is currently being used by over 12.5 million Indian citizens. He said that the government will launch two new schemes to promote the use of the BHIM app. One will be referral payments for individuals, and the other will be cashback for merchants who accept payments from BHIM.
In May 2020, VPNMentor, a cyber security firm disclosed that BHIM app has suffered a huge data breach leaking approximately 7.26 million Indian users personal and financial data, such as name, contact details, Aadhaar card, PAN card, caste certificate, fingerprint scans, educational certificates and more. The 4.09 GB files were leaked from a CSC operated website because of misconfigured AWS S3 bucket, and not the official BHIM website. But CSC explicitly mentions that it is working with BHIM and NCPI in partnership. VPNMentor and other cybersecurity experts confirm the data to be authentic, but BHIM and NCPI claim that the breach never took place. The issue has now been fixed.
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