The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), on October 21, launched a new version of its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) platform Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) to make it stand at par with other UPI-based payments platform.
The new interface BHIM 2.0 was launched by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at the MeitY Startup Hub has additional languages, including Konkani, Bhojpuri and Haryanvi, increased transaction limit and an option of applying in initial public offering (IPO).
Other features of BHIM 2.0 include Donation gateway, linking multiple bank, offers from merchants and giving money, etc.
How Far Behind Is BHIM Compared To Other UPI Platforms?
BHIM, which was launched in 2016, was considering offering cashback to the merchants to stay at par with its competitors in 2018. However, BHIM, which brought UPI payments in India, has not been able to set a mark and registered 1 Bn transactions in FY17-18.
The Indian ecosystem has been changing adversely and UPI payments have come up as an important mode and simpler of digital transaction. In September 2019 alone, UPI transaction recorded over 955 Mn transactions across platforms.
In terms of the value of transactions, UPI recorded a 4.5% hike with INR 1,61,456.56 Cr in September in 2019, a growth against INR 1,54,504.89 Cr worth transactions in August 2019. This month, BHIM had recorded 17.2 Mn transaction, which only accounted for 1.8% of the total UPI transactions that month. Similarly, BHIM recorded 16.89 Mn transactions in August, which was still a very small portion of the 918.35 Mn transactions.
BHIM transactions have been nominal compared to other UPI payment platforms. According to an ET report of May 2019, Google Pay had recorded 240 Mn transactions, followed by Flipkart-owned PhonePe and Paytm with 230 Mn and 200 Mn, respectively. Overall, UPI transactions had witnessed a 6.17% fall accounting for 733.54 Mn transactions in May 2019.
According to NITI Aayog’s “Digital Payments (2018 edition)”, India’s digital payments industry is estimated to grow to $1 Tn by 2023. It also suggested that the value of digital payments will likely jump from the current 10% to over 25% by 2023.