Govt banks on BHIM to boost cashless economy

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By Shoaib Khan

New Delhi: After demonetisation cash crunch forced people to flock to cashless transactions, there has been a surge in the number of people using payments applications like Paytm, Mobikwik and Airtel Money.
To grab their share of pie in the e-commerce market and to foster its vision of cashless economy, the Centre launched a money transaction application — BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) on New Year’s Eve.
What makes BHIM different from private payment apps is that it instantly transfers money from one account to another without any transaction charges. The application has also been integrated with Unique Identification (UID) or Aadhar number.
Ankur Gupta, a cashier at Bank of India says, “One can use thumb impression, bank account number or mobile number to transfer money.” A shopkeeper can use a biometric reader with mobile phone for cashless transactions, he added.
Unlike other digital wallets, money is not required to be added to the application. It can transfer money directly, even to people without the BHIM app, by using their bank account numbers. “It has all the features of a digital wallet. Additionally, it can work with a feature phone also,” says Aziz Khan, a student who finds BHIM useful.
However, the safety of online transactions is a hurdle when it comes to promoting cashless economy. Though the government claims that the app is secure, experts say that it is too early to comment on that. Rakshit Tandon, a cyber security expert says, “It is important to keep your device safe from malware as it can compromise the security of your bank account linked to the application.”

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