The government’s new e-wallet app, the Bharat Interface For Money or Bhim, has crossed 3 million downloads on the Google Play Store, claimed Amitabh Kant, the chief executive officer for the National Institution for Transforming India, on Monday. In a tweet, Kant said the United Payments Interface-enabled app had also facilitated 5 lakh transactions since its launch on December 30, 2016.
In the next ten days, they will release an iOS app, as well as multilingual versions of the e-wallet, Kant said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called the app “the greatest gift of 2017”. “The times have now changed,” Modi had said. “Today, your fingerprint is your bank, your identity.”
Separately, privately-owned digital payments app Paytm on Tuesday said that it had enabled the UPI system on its software. In a blog post, the company said its customers “can now add money to their Paytm Wallets using their UPI ID”. “According to the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines, you can add anywhere between one rupee and Rs 20,000 at one go to your Paytm account using UPI,” the company said, adding that it was necessary for a customer to have a UPI-enabled app on their phone to use the new feature.
The Union government has heavily promoted digital transactions following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8. However, a committee set up to study such a system has asked the Centre to protect consumers using cashless payment methods through new laws. In its report, the Ratan Watal panel said the laws need to allow access to open payment systems, protect consumer data and allow any payments regulatory board to function independently of the Reserve Bank of India.