Only 5.1 million, or 26.6 per cent, of the 19.16 million downloads of the Modi government's flagship Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app have translated into an active linkage with a bank account, the Financial Express
reported on Monday while citing data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
This development comes despite a large number of downloads of the app in a short span of time. Last week, according to NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, the indigenous digital payments
app, which the government launched for fast and secure cashless transactions, had, till then, recorded 18 million downloads. (Read more)
The app, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on December 30, is a re-branded version of the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data.
Talking to the financial daily, NPCI
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer AP Hota said that the low utilisation rate was the reason behind a special drive launched by the government "for linking of mobile number with bank accounts". The low incidence of people linking their bank accounts to the app has limited active usage of the app.
BHIM can be downloaded from the Google playstore. After the app has been installed, the user will need to register his or her bank account with BHIM, and set a UPI PIN for the bank account. The user's mobile number will become the payment address, and he or she can then start transacting. (Read more
PM Modi's 'Mann ki baat' fails to reach the people
Till date, the government and the prime minister have repeatedly endorsed the use of the app by citizens.
Declaring that digital payments
would help fight corruption and proliferation of black money during his monthly 'Mann Ki Baat' radio broadcast in late February, the prime minister had said that each citizen should teach 125 persons how to use the BHIM digital payment app.
"Remembering Babasaheb Ambedkar, you teach at least 125 persons about downloading the BHIM app," Modi had said. (Read more
BHIM is part of the prime minister's larger push for a less-cash economy, which includes schemes meant to give a boost to digital transactions like the Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana, and, ostensibly, the surprise demonetisation