With demonetization of currency notes of value of Rs.500 & Rs.1000 Government of India has been urging it’s citizens to go cashless.

I have been using my Credit Card even for smaller value transactions like Rs.100 or less – something I wouldn’t have done before demonetization. In my experience, one out of five transactions I have done using CC had failed, resulting in the merchant having to retry the transaction again. This is certainly not a good position to be in for going cashless. Most of the time it’s the poor data connectivity services provided by TELCOs like Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL & Jio in India. I suspect that the payment gateways, credit card issuing bank’s servers too are not able to handle the huge volume of transactions that have been pouring in after November 8th.  GoI & RBI have to work on war footing to get all stakeholders to beef up their infrastructure, having designed highly scalable solutions myself I have to say this is easier said, not easy to do and costs a lot of money.

I often use PayTM as well wherever it’s accepted like with Uber App and other online properties. Once when I tried to pay with PayTM in an Arun Ice-cream parlour it didn’t go through, may be because of server issue or data connectivity over my Vodafone mobile.

A few quarters back NPCI has introduced UPI system to send/receive money by using your AADHAAR number and Mobile phone. I never tried it as I heard it was not easy. Now GoI has released a new app BHIM that I read was easy to use. I downloaded the free BHIM (BHarat Interface for Money) App from Google App Store and gave it a spin. A FAQ on BHIM is available here from NITI Aayog site.

I didn’t expect a Government initiated app to be user-friendly to use, but BHIM was. Launching the app first time you get to verify your mobile number, then using AADHAAR backend the app was able to bring up the list of bank accounts I have and I was able to choose the one I want to use with BHIM. To verify before linking I had to enter my debit card details like last 6 digits & validity. I haven’t setup UPI ID before so I had to do it now, it can be setup from BHIM app itself seamlessly. It took me about a minute to setup my UPI ID (unique ID to send and receive money, like your email ID) and a PIN number.

BHIM app was easy to use at every step, the flow was neatly laid out. Let me try to do some transactions and come back with my experiences.

 

Update (21/Jan/2017): Paid for GoDaddy domain renewal with UPI, it was super easy. In the payment screen, entered my UPI ID, opened BHIM mobile app there was a notification, pressed approved, that’s all – payment was done. This was the easiest way to transfer money I have experienced compared to Credit Cards, Net Banking, PayTM & other wallets.