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Answered: What could be the advantages of using the digital payments solution app, BHIM? Also, discuss its security features.


Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is a mobile payments application based on NPCI’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI). It provides the facility to easily send or receive money from other customers using the UPI.

Advantages:

  1. Allows easy money transfer without the hassle of knowing the recipient’s bank or account number. The entire transaction can be done in under a minute.
  2. Instant money transfer at all times. It does not require prior beneficiary registration, unlike net-banking.
  3. Allows the use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) to access bank account details via *99#, since it is UPI-based. USSD does not require an internet connection.
  4. Customers who don’t have UPI accounts can also receive money via Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) and Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) codes.
  5. Fixed amount can be transferred by generating QR code, in case the receiver does not want to share their phone number. Useful for merchants and vendors.
  6. A Virtual Payment Address is generated. Flexibility to transfer money either via the receiver’s mobile number, the VPA, or the UPI ID.
  7. Nearly all the commercial banks support BHIM. Unlike e-wallets, money can be directly transferred to bank accounts via BHIM.
  8. Aadhaar based payments at the scan of a “thumb” (biometric authentication) are also possible by the app.
  9. Trust deficit resolved to some extent, since the app has been launched by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a body associated with the government.
  10. Available in English and Hindi, with other language interfaces in the pipeline.

Security features:

  1. The BHIM app is tied to the mobile number and device ID. So using the app on a different handset will require a separate authentication process.
  2. Three point authentication via mobile number, device ID and UPI PIN.
  3. Fingerprint-based biometric verification of transactions via Aadhaar will prevent fraudulent transactions.
  4. UPI PIN is needed for both opening the app as well as for transactions.
  5. Resetting UPI pin requires debit card details and OTP SMS to authenticate.

BHIM and UPI will revolutionize the way people perform digital transactions and have the potential to become the lynchpins of a cashless, digital India. There is a need to increase awareness as well as adoption of the app by developing it for non-Android devices as well.


 

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