Major companies slow to adopt Bhim App payment

09 January 2017

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Bhim app last week, the common platform for the Unified Payment Interface was touted as the next big thing to push wider cashless transactions in the country.

However, the National Payments Corporation of India, the agency handling retail payment systems in the country, had voiced its displeasure over the tardy manner in which Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm and Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation were integrating with UPI, which forms the core of Bhim.

Also, customers who had downloaded the app were not finding enough avenues to use it because merchants – especially online ones that were expected to generate the bulk of such payments – had been slow to warm up to the new system.  AP Hota, managing director, said NPCI was ''not very happy'' with the 70,000 UPI transactions a day, the figure before the Bhim app was launched on 30 December. According to NPCI, as on Wednesday, the number of transactions had increased to 1,90,000 per day.

According to NPCI's website, UPI was a system that brought multiple banks on to a single mobile application, merging several banking features, seamless fund routing and merchant payments, according to the NPCI website. The NPCI developed app was launched in August. ''Whenever we speak to them, they say that they are talking to the banks. I fail to understand…'' Hota told ET last week. He added that while companies had evinced interest, they were still assessing and negotiating commercial terms with banks.

Meanwhile, in a bid to address security concerns over the centre's flagship digital payment application Bhim, the CEO of cybersecurity solutions firm Lucideus, said it was currently among the most secure ways to make digital payments.

According to Saket Modi, CEO of Lucideus, one of the many firms involved in testing the UPI-based application's safety, the increasing adoption of the UPI payment mechanism would spell doom for mobile wallets, which led to a surge in their usage in the past two months due to the cash crisis following the demonetisation of high-value currency on 8 November.

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