A new version of an app developed by the government, Bharat Interface for Money or BHIM 1.1 was launched by the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI) late on Wednesday. The update comes within a week of its launch after users raised concerns about its security features.
“This is a routine update to fix the useability issues and no new features have been added to the existing app,” said an NPCI official who did not wish to be identified.
Many users had expressed their disappointment with the BHIM app on social media, blaming the government for launching the app in haste without proper testing.
BHIM was launched last Friday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote digital transactions using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a bank-to-bank fund transfer system backed by the Internet and smartphones, using phone numbers linked to banks.
On Wednesday, a user of the app tweeted he was receiving spam payment requests. He also suggested the developers of the app enable an option to block unknown payment addresses to protect the users from losing money if they accept the request unknowingly.
Payment address is an address which uniquely identifies a person’s bank account.
According to the NPCI official, “By next week, a feature which will allow the users to report spam will be enabled and the app will start supporting other regional languages in another two weeks’ time.”
On Wednesday, NPCI warned users not to accept any unknown payment requests on the BHIM app.
With the updated version, BHIM is now linked to 35 private and public sector banks such as State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Union Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra Bank.
UCO Bank , Bank of India,YES Bank and TJSB Bank are the latest banks to be integrated with the app.
BHIM has already attracted 5 million users and enabled close to 700,000 transactions, according to CEO of Niti Aayog, Amitabh Kant.
On Tuesday, Kant tweeted that around 1.5 million bank accounts had already been linked with the app and more than 1.4 million payment addresses created. Within two days of its launch, the BHIM app became the top free app on Google PlayStore.
Currently, there is a limit of Rs10,000 per transaction and Rs20,000 in a day for transfers through the bank account. The app, which is currently available in Hindi and English, is expected to be launched in other regional languages soon
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