The Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app will now allow users to send and receive money using their 12-digit Aadhaar number. This comes shortly after the government announced the Aadhaar Pay which would allow any person with their Aadhaar number linked to a bank account, can make and receive payment electronically. At the time, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that BHIM would be able to make Aadhar Payments any biometric authentication, as indicated by this Economic Times report.
Currently, the government has 14 banks onboard to facilitate payments via Aadhaar Pay, with more to join soon.
The updated BHIM app now has options where it will allow users to pay with Aadhar number in addition to virtual payment addresses (VPA) and bank account and IFSC codes.
Note that initially, HDFC Bank’s UPI app had an option to send money to an Aadhaar number but later disabled it.
Note that the second version of the unified payments interface (UPI) is due on March 2017 and is supposed to integrate the Aadhaar. Right now, UPI hasn’t got Aadhaar integration, even though the draft paper for the UPI had detailed out that it would be using the Aadhaar to map out financial addresses on the UPI.
BHIM was developed in the aftermath of the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes on November 8. The virtual address on BHIM app is the registered phone number and will have a handle @upi. BHIM is probably the first bank-independent UPI application, it needs to be stressed that it is not built by the government but the by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a private entity run by Indian Banks Association (IBA) and supervised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Currently, there are 31 banks live on BHIM via UPI and transactions are limited to Rs 10,000 per transaction and up to Rs 20,000 per day. Earlier this month, the Prime Minster’s Office said that BHIM crossed 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store.