Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced two new schemes to bolster the digital economy and promote Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app while presenting the Union Budget in the Parliament on Wednesday. He said that while one of the two schemes would incentivise the app for the individual users, the other would provide cash back to the merchants who accept payment from the BHIM app.
Although the finance minister didn’t disclose any specific details, he revealed that the app, that was launched in December last year, was being used by 1.25 crore citizens.
The government in January updated the BHIM app by integrating it with the Aadhaar. With the new update, the BHIM app users can enter their 12-digit Aadhaar number to make transactions. Apart from Aadhaar, users can also make payments using their mobile numbers and Account + IFSC code. Although the Aadhaar uses biometric identification, payment using the Aadhaar number won’t require similar verification.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM app on December 30 last year. The app has been developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and aims to facilitate e-transactions in the country. The app witnessed over 5 million downloads on the Android platform within a month of its launch. Unlike most e-wallets including PayTm and MobiKwik, the BHIM app also allows sending money to those who don’t have the app.