Oct 082017

One of my previous posts introduced you to NPCI and the products and services offered by them. Today we concentrate more on UPI BHIM mobile app and see how we can use it for our daily transactions. The transactions can be money transfer from one party to another or a payment at merchant point of sale terminals.

The older methods

For money transfer, we have been using the NEFT/RTGS and the IMPS services for quite some time. These services require that the remitter knows the beneficiary details. It is quite difficult to remember these details. The remitter has to feed a 15-16 digit account number, IFSC code, Bank Branch details and the correct name of the account holder. Some banks also have set a period of time before which the beneficiary is not activated. So in case of emergency, immediate transfer to a new beneficiary is not possible.

For online payments or at a brick and mortar retails store, we need to either present a card to the merchant or feed in the card or account details on the website. There are chances of misuse of the card details if proper security measures were not in place. The process is also tedious due to multiple levels of authentication.

With the advent of UPI and BHIM, all this has changed. Online money transfer and payments have never been simpler.

What is UPI

I have explained about UPI in my previous post. But in short, UPI(Unified Payment Interface) helps the financial organisations and clearences houses to use a simpler method for identifying remitter and payee. All it requires is for you to login to BHIM APP create a VPA(virtual Payment Address). This VPA is unique to a user and is in format XXXXX@UPI. Eg. if your phone number linked to a bank account which you choose to register with BHIM is 1234567890, then the VPA can be 1234567890@UPI. If you choose to set it on the basis of name, it can be yourname@UPI or your.name@UPI etc. It’s your choice on the basis of availability.

Note that the prerequisites for using BHIM app are a bank account with phone number linked.

Getting Started

The first thing you will need to do is download the BHIM app. Make sure that you download it from google play store or apple app store. Do not use any other app which you may get via any file sharing site. It could be fake. The link are here for Google Play store and here for Apple itunes store.

Once downloaded, launch the app using the app icon in you app drawer and follow the below slide-show in sequence to set up BHIM.

  • First you will need to verify your mobile number. For a multi-sim device, select the sim which you wish to register with BHIM. This should be the phone number which is linked to you account.
  • Setup a 4 digit pin to access the app. Note that this app doesn’t work on rooted devices.
  • Select the bank which you want to link. The app will display the accounts registered with the bank and linked to the phone number. Select the account you wish to link with BHIM.
  • Setup a 6 digit UPI pin using your debit cards details . You will use this pin for authorising any transaction you wish to carry out.

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Using BHIM

Home Screen

Once setup you can launch BHIM app. You should enter the 4 digit pin which you have set to login to the app. You will be presented with the screen as below.

The various option available on the home screen are as follows:

Clicking the bell icon will display any notification like transfer status, money transfer requests etc.

Send button is used to transfer money to a beneficiary

Request button is used to send a money transfer request to a remitter.

Scan & Pay option is used to use the mobile camera to scan a QR code for payment.

Under the the My Information section:

Transactions list out all the successful and failed transactions and their details

Profile gives the details of your profile including your UPI ID

Bank Account list out the bank accounts linked to BHIM. It gives you option to set default account for UPI transactions.

My Beneficiaries list out the beneficiaries added by you. In case you have installed the app fresh, you will have to add beneficiary using this section.

Adding Beneficiary

To add a beneficiary, click on My beneficiaries. If you have not yet setup beneficiary address, the page will be blank with an option to Add UPI ID.

  • Click on it and on the next screen, enter the UPI Id provided by the beneficiary. It could be in the format XXXXXXX@UPI or XXXXXXXX@hdfcbank etc. The XXXXXXX stand for the combination of alpha numeric id.
  • Click on Verify.
  • The app will verify the UPI ID and provide more details of the payee if the verification succeeds.
  • If the details are correct, click on Add Beneficiary.
  • The My Beneficiaries screen will list the newly added beneficiary.

Click through the slide show below for graphical representation.

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Sending Money

To send money to a beneficiary, click on Send button in the home screen.

  • Select the beneficiary to whom you want to send money.
  • Enter the amount and remarks(if any)
  • Click on Confirm in the confirm to pay screen.
  • Enter you 6 digit UPI PIN for the transaction.
  • The last two slides show a successful transaction and the view of the beneficiary Transactions screen.

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Requesting Money Transfer

Your friend owes you some money but you find it embarrassing to ask him. Well no need to ask anymore. Just send a request with remarks and he will get the hint.

To request money, click on Request button on the home screen.

  • Select the UPI ID from whom you want to request money transfer.
  • Enter the amount and any remarks in the next page.
  • Click on Request.
  • The other party will get a notification in the BHIM app.
  • He/She can then decide to approve the request or deny it.
  • If the other party approves, the money will be transferred to your account and you will get a notification. The transfer will be visible in your as will as the other party’s transaction list.

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Scan & Pay

This is a novel method of making payments. You must have seen that a lot of merchants have a sticker near their point of sale counter with a square containing a graphical code. It is called as QR code or a Quick Response Code. BHIM app also gives the facility to pay by scanning a QR code. This QR code contains UPI ID and other details, including the amount to be transferred in many cases. You can download your own QR code which will be visible in the Profile section.

When you want to make a payment, you will need a code from the beneficiary. The procedure to scan and pay is same as the Send option. The only difference is that instead of selecting the beneficiary from the My Beneficiaries option, you should select the Scan & Pay option. You will have to provide the camera access to BHIM app when prompted. The camera window will open up in BHIM and you can hold it about 5-10 cm from the QR Code provided by the merchant.

The beneficiary may also choose to send you the QR code via email or any other electronic format. You can use the option Pick from Gallery in this case. The app will read the QR Code and fill the beneficiary details accordingly. You will need to follow the same procedure as sending money as detailed earlier.

Note that all the transfers are done from and into your Primary account. You have an option to change primary bank account in the Bank Account list.

Going Digital

With the advent of digital age and better internet penetration, people are using BHIM app more widely and soon you should find its application at many more locations.

In case of queries, do contact me. You can also contact the official twitter handle of UPI and BHIM and they will be more than happy to help you out. The twitter handles are @UPI_NPCI and @NPCI_BHIM.

Sep 182017

NPCI stands for National Payments Corporation of India. It is an umbrella corporation which a robust infrastructure for payment and settlement solutions in India. NPCI has been operational since nearly a decade but the awareness levels of the brand as a whole is not as expected.

Recently, NPCI arranged a blogger meet in collaboration with Indiblogger. The intention behind the NPCI Indimeet was to create awareness about NPCI and its various products and service among the blogging community. The bloggers would further spread this to the masses via the digital media. Thanks NPCI for warmly accommodating us at your office and enlightening us about the organisation.

History of NPCI

With the advent of digital age and the foreseen benefits of adopting it, the world started moving its service industry to zeros and ones. Financial sector was among the first industries to adopt it since they were well apprised with the potential increase in reach and ease of serviceability. World over the adoption was quick but the story in India was a quite different.

India had the financial infrastructure for paper based transaction but had to rely on a handful of foreign players for digital transactions. This attracted higher service change and limited the adoption to the “top cream” of consumers. The masses, though unintentionally, were left out. Lack of any standardization resulted in various service level issues including delays in payment processes. These delays later became standards of operation and the overall system had a lag in it.

RBI and promoting banks incorporated NPCI in the year 2008. The objective was financial inclusion of masses into this digital revolution and provide a uniform and a standard business process across all institutions. It has 10 promoting banks, including the biggies of the Indian banking like SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank etc. International banks with India presence like Citibank and HSBC are also among the promoter banks.

Major Achievements

Since it incorporation, NPCI has launched various products and solutions to unify and better the payment infrastructure. NPCI with its products and solutions could be the biggest of India contribution to the world. You could even say that Indians taught the world how to use 0 and now Indians teach them how to transact online.

The government efforts in the digital revolution have helped NPCI in launching superior products like Aadhar enabled payment system. This continues to be the flagship product of NPCI. Their other products include, Bharat interface for Money, also called as BHIM. They have a large portfolio of debit, credit, contact less and prepaid cards under the brand RuPay. Following are few of the various important offerings from NPCI.

RuPay (#FriendsOfRuPay)

Rupay is a term coined by combination of Rupee and Payment. RBI concieved this card payment system to fulfill their vision to offer a domestic, open-loop, multilateral system which will allow all Indian banks and financial institutions in India to participate in electronic payments. One of the objectives of RuPay is to assist India in moving towards “less cash” society.

Under the RuPay banner, NPCI offers cards various debit, credit, prepaid and contactless cards. These cards cater to every need and intends to involve the people from all classes of society. Depending on the card you opt for, Rupay credit cards even allow the holders, access to lounge services, 24/7 Concierge Services and comprehensive insurance. This is in addition to the various offers and schemes available on all the cards.

You can use the RuPay prepaid range of cards to surprise your loved ones or your employees during festival season, and otherwise. The RuPay Global card provides access to various services world over via the tie up with major international partners like Discoverr, Diners Club International etc.

So lets be the #FriendsOfRuPay and opt for a RuPay card with your bank.

More information on the RuPay at their microsite at www.Rupay.co.in . You can also contact them on twitter @RuPay_npci

UPI (#HighOnUPI)

UPI, or the Unified Payment Interface is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application of any participating bank. It facilitates merger of several banking features, seamless fund routing and merchant payments under one hood.

UPI supports pay request and collect request. A Pay Request is a transaction where the initiating customer is pushing funds to the intended beneficiary. A Collect Request is a transaction where the customer is pulling funds from the intended remitter.

What UPI actually did was that it nullified the inter-operability issues arising due to different service level procedures followed by different banks. Pre-UPI era, the remitter and the beneficiary needed to exchange their details which included bank account number, IFSC code, branch etc. The banks would verify the details and the transaction would only be possible after the banks authorised the beneficiary.

While using UPI, the beneficiary need to only exchange his UPI address which could be in a format as simple as nileshgonsalves@upi. UPI also allows requesting money transfer. For example, if I am supposed to receive an amount XXX from a party YYY, I would just have to know the UPI id of that party. Then I could send a payment request to yyy@upi and would receive funds immediately upon acceptance by the remitter.

Note that the UPI id varies based on where it is created. For e.g. a UPI ID created using HDFC would look like xxxxxx@hdfcbank and the one created using Axis bank would look like xxxxx@axisbank. It is required to have a mobile number linked to the account which is used for UPI transactions.

So what are you waiting for. Go ahead and get #HighOnUPI


The NPCI developed the BHIM app to enable the users to make simple, easy and quick payment transactions using Unified Payments Interface (UPI). BHIM is a 24 X 7 payment solution and anyone in possession of a phone number and debit card and use it.

The unique feature of this app is that it is generic. So if you link your HDFC bank account as the primary account to this app, the app home screen will convert to the shades of HDFC bank color scheme. This will make it easier to know which account you are using for transaction.

Along with the regular Send Money and Request Money transactions, you can also transact using QR Code. Whenever you are at a POS terminal, if the merchant has a QR code, you can make payment by scanning the QR code in BHIM app. Your will now need need to confirm and enter the pin to finalise the transaction. BHIM app provides facility to block request for collect from illicit source.

This shows the true power of BHIM or we can say its the #BHIMKADum

For more information on UPI and BHIM visit their microsite at www.Bhimupi.org.in . You can also contact them on twitter @UPI_NPCI and @NPCI_BHIM .

Other Services and Products

For information on their other products and services, click on the logos below.


What we have seen so far is convergence of products and services like in the case of BHIM and UPI. This enables the provision of more efficient and reliable service.

With all these services and products under its umbrella, NPCI aims to facilitate transactions faster than a Pizza delivery.

For more information, visit NPCI at their website www.npci.org.in. You can also tweet them on @NPCI_NPCI

(The logos and graphics used in the post are property of NPCI. The writer intends no misuse or personal gains using these logos. We use them to increase visibility of NPCI and its products portfolio)

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