All for Bhim, Bhim for All as Banks to Align Pay Apps

This will help pro­mote UPI as sin­gle means of pay­ment for mo­bile pay­ments

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Pratik.Bhakta @times­group.com

Mum­bai: In­dian banks, both pub­lic and pri­vate, are set to bring their dig­i­tal pay­ment so­lu­tions un­der the um­brella of Bhim or the Bharat In­ter­face for Money, in a move that could boost widespread adop­tion of the Uni­fied Pay­ments In­ter­face (UPI). Banks will now dis­play Bhim as a pre­fix to their own UPI ap­pli­ca­tions in a bid to erase con­fu­sion among users.

In turn, this will help pro­mote UPI as the sin­gle means of pay­ment for smart­phone-based small value re­tail trans­ac­tions, ac­cord­ing to bankers who see this as a brand­ing ex­er­cise sim­i­lar to how mer­chants dis­play pay­ment op­tions for credit and debit card users. “The UPI front end of the bank apps will be changed to in­clude the name Bhim, though this will be a nomen­cla­ture change. Even­tu­ally ev­ery­thing will be­come part of the larger Bhim fam­ily,” said one bankers di­rectly aware of the de­vel­op­ment.

“This should help clear all forms of con­fu­sion among mer­chants ac-

cept­ing UPI and con­sumers us­ing UPI for pay­ments.” Bankers in the know told ET that since BHIM has be­come syn­ony­mous with dig­i­tal pay­ments, it will also help peo­ple to iden­tify with the ap­pli­ca­tion eas­ily. Fur­ther, it will also give a sin­gle identity to all the UPI apps of the dif­fer­ent banks. Al- BHIM UPI so, this could give ac­cess to the pro­mo­tional cam­paigns run by the gov­ern­ment to the users of bank-led UPI apps which till now was re­stricted to Bhim users. “Since there is al- ready a wide-scale pro­mo­tion cam­paign be­ing run around Bhim, it has been de­cided through con­sen­sus that all bank apps should be re­named un­der the aegis of Bhim,” said a se­nior pub­lic sec­tor banker. Bhim was launched by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, last De­cem­ber, as a gov­ern­ment pro­moted UPI ap­pli­ca­tion to pro­mote dig­i­tal RAHUL GOCHHWAL, Co­founder, Tru­pay

trans­ac­tions for peer-topeer pay­ments. Bhim emerged as a di­rect com­peti­tor for bank-led UPI apps like Axis Pay, SBI Pay, as well as non-bank UPI play­ers like Flip­kart-owned PhonePe and in­ter­net ma­jor Google’s pay­ment ap­pli­ca­tion Tez. Now with the re­brand­ing, ban­kled UPI apps, for ex­am­ple, are be­ing re­named as Bhim SBI Pay, Bhim Axis Pay, and Bhim RBL Pay.

Na­tional Pay­ments Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia which runs the BHIM ap­pli­ca­tion and man­ages the UPI rail­roads, has no­ti­fied banks to place Bhim/UPI promi­nently at mer­chant check­out lo­ca­tions.

In­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives are of the view that if ev­ery UPI app gets branded as Bhim, then it could have a ma­jor ef­fect on mer­chant adop­tion of the pay­ment in­ter­face and will also ben­e­fit non-bank pay­ment plat­forms. As of now UPI adop­tion has mainly been driven by peer-topeer trans­ac­tions. “All bank­ing or non-bank­ing UPI apps work on the same back end pro­moted by NPCI, since all these apps are in­ter­op­er­a­ble the de­ci­sion to mar­ket UPI as a com­mon brand will help pop­u­larise it among the masses,” said Rahul Gochhwal, co­founder of Tru­pay.

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