In the wake of the demonetisation drive, the new BHIM app, unveiled by PM Narendra Modi, whose aim is to turn digital payments via cell phones very simple and ensure India gets a less cash economy, has registered as many as 1.1 crore downloads and that too within just 20 days of launch. This statistic was revealed by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. He added, “This enormous popularity of BHIM app is indicative of people’s passion for digital payments through new instruments.” BHIM is a digital payments app that allows fast and secure cashless transactions using mobiles. BHIM makes UPI and USSD payment modes simpler.
To ensure that the system is available to every cell phone carrier, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that the app will be soon available on iOS too. “In its final stages of technical testing. Let’s do things to technical perfection,” Kant said in a tweet. Kant also said that the scheme is quite a hit with merchants and tweeted his encouragement saying, “BHIM enables merchants to receive payment using QR code which makes payment seamless like wallets.”
However, the Narendra Modi government is looking at moving even further into the tech realm to ensure for seamless e-payments across the country.
On the new Aadhaar-based payment system which is in the offing, the Minister said that its architecture is being finalised, and it will be launched “very soon”. This proposed system is an Aadhaar-linked payment system would be launched “very soon” – PM Modi had alluded to it his speech o December 30, 2016.
Prasad revealed that “There were certain issues which we have already clarified with the RBI and other banks, and about four banks including State Bank of India (SBI) have come on board.” When this payment system is launched there would be no need for mobile phones to make payments.
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Prasad added, “Customers would only need Aadhaar-enabled bank account then. And we have got nearly 40 crore bank accounts linked to Aadhaar. Only the shopkeeper needs to have a smartphone, for feeding the Aadhaar number.”