What is the Bhim app? When did it get launched?
Ramayana and Mahabharata are the two epic mythological stories in our country. Everyone would remember Bhim, the unconquered, durable, and the strongest of all the Pandavas. Similar to the characteristics he possessed, the Government of India has launched an app by the name Bhim, to improve the potentiality of digital payments in the country. It got started in December 2016.
The abbreviation of Bhim stands for Bharat Interface for Money. Bhim was the first UPI-powered application to get launched in the country to complete digital payments by using the Universal Payments Interface (UPI). Though the Bhim app is the personal interest of the Government of India, like the Bhim of Mahabharata, who was very strong but not immortal even it has its share of pros and cons.
How is the growth of the Bhim App?
It has been more than two years since Bhim got launched. The growth of the app is awe-inspiring compared to the other applications launched by the Government. This comparison is drawn taking the other apps such as railway bookings and other apps of the Government.
The growth is impressive because most of the citizens of the country do not trust the apps of the Central Government. The prime reason being, these apps are not updated time-to-time and always get presented with the transaction or network problems.
But that’s not the case with Bhim, which means people have started trusting the app, and the app does not possess the underlying problems of other applications of the Government. The number of banks which are currently live with this UPI set-up is more than 140, and the volume of transactions has magnified to a whopping number of 230 times.
The amount of money that is getting transacted through the Bhim app has got ballooned to around 1700 times, considering the earlier months of its launch.
Are other UPI apps affecting the growth of the Bhim App?
Yes, it is. One thing to note here is that though the overall growth of the app is impressive, the month-on-month growth of the app is quite slow. This issue is slightly disturbing and has to get seriously investigated.
The prime reason for this issue is the increased usage of the other prominent UPI apps like PhonePe, GPay, MobiKwik, and Paytm. The reason why people are moving towards these apps is the same connecting and up-to-date issues that Bhim lacks compared to them.
Though Bhim was the pioneer app that led the digitalization movement in India, the developers of the app have to address some keen issues on the app to make it more consumer-attractive. Though people are installing the Bhim app in high numbers, their first preference for making digital transactions always lie in the other apps than Bhim.
It is a known fact that other apps such as GPay, Paytm, PhonePe, and MobiKwik have stolen the thunder, which Bhim possessed in its earlier days. How did this decrease in the value of Bhim happen? The other apps often attract customers by providing them with lucrative cashback and amazing offers.
Sometimes they even offer scratch cards from which they can earn money. These lucrative offers are not available in the Bhim app as its main priority was to start the digitalization movement in India.
These apps have consumed 15-20% share of UPI transactions, which were priority performed through Bhim. As a result, the Bhim app is witnessing a slightly downward trend nowadays. But why doesn’t the Bhim app introduce such lucrative offers and cashback?
See the vital thing to note here is that a non-profit organization manages Bhim by the name National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
So the Bhim app did not get launched for the process of inheriting profits; it got launched only to increase the interest of people in doing digital transactions.
How has Bhim improved the process of digital payments across the country?
Most of the eminent business persons in this filed have opined that it is because of Bhim digital payments got the needed push to prosper in our country. Bhim acted like a mascot that gets used for promoting the Olympics. Here Olympics is nothing but the UPI interface.
Bhim helped in creating awareness and installed the trusted quality in users for using digital payments.
As of October 1st, 2019, Bhim has amassed around 10,000,000+ downloads in the Android Playstore and has approximately 3 million+ downloads in the Apple iOS store. So, has Bhim served its purpose? Yes, it has.
Bhim got launched basically to show the potential of the UPI interface. And today, lots of people are using this interface to make their payments. But the app has got subjected to the issue of lack of marketing.
Considering other apps such as PhonePe, Gpay, who are present on all social media platforms with their eye-catching advertisements, Bhim is clearly behind them.
Are the developers of Bhim planning to improve its features?
So what should the developers of the Bhim app do to get the same marketing level of other prominent apps in this interface? It must inherit those additional features which the other apps possess, right?
Yes, of course. So, to inherit these new features and to make the app look more consumer-friendly and eye-catching, the Government has rebased a new version of the app by the name Bhim 2.0.
This new version comprises added functionalities with unique features that support additional languages and has also increased its transaction limits. This version of the app is more feature-rich. It also houses prominent features like the linking of multiple bank accounts, gifting money to your friends, lucrative offers from merchants, and many more.
The effectiveness of the app has improved compared to the earlier version. It also includes a ‘Donation’ gateway for providing donations in case of natural calamities or other fatal accidents.
This new version of the app also supports three other additional languages, which include Bhojpuri, Haryanvi, and Konkani, apart from the existing three. UPI interface has crossed the 15,000 crore transactions mark for the first time in January 2019.
This feat shows that people are using the UPI interface to process most of their payments. And it is quite easy too. This phenomenal feat would not have got achieved today if Bhim did not get launched with the prime motive of increasing the usage of this interface.
So will Bhim witness more growth in the future?
Though Bhim has released a new version with added features, it should still take some more innovative steps. The creative steps might include enabling a metro card payment transaction or enclosing an inter-wallet payment in support of the daily operations. After the addition of these steps, Bhim might experience an upward spike in its growth.
It is true that because of the presence of Bhim and other apps, India Today has grown digitally. So, if by chance there is another demonetization waiting for us, then certainly people would panic less compared to the last time.
Because of the increased usage of digital payments, Google has reported that the total transactions due to digital methods will experience phenomenal growth. It has got estimated that they can reach a massive amount of around 500 billion US dollars by the end of the year 2020.