Bhutan, jointly with the Indian government launched a mobile payment interface that intends to facilitate e-payments directly through banks and encourage cashless transactions.
With this launch Bhutan became the first nation to use India’s Unified Payment Interface for its quick response (QR) deployment.
To commemorate the launch Indian’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman conducted a payment transaction through the BHIM-UPI application to purchase organic products from a Bhutanese outlet.
UNIFIED PAYMENT INTERFACE (UPI)
Unified Payments Interface is an instant real-time payment system that helps facilitate inter-bank transactions.
The interface is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and works by instantly transferring funds between two bank accounts on a mobile platform.
UPI provides all banking features and services under a single platform.
BHARAT INTERFACE FOR MONEY (BHIM)
BHIM is an Indian mobile payment App developed by the National Payments Corporation of India. It is more like a mobile wallet. It is an application through which users can conduct online transactions.
The BHIM app is similar to Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Paytm etc., but the only difference is BHIM pay is a government owned, established and controlled entity whereas the others aren’t.
UPI GROWTH UNDER PANDEMIC
Online transactions through UPI witnessed a massive surge during the pandemic.
Over 2.2 billion UPI transactions were recorded by the end of November 2020, compared to the 1.21 billion in November 2019.
In June 2021, when the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hit UPI transactions hit an all time high of 2.8 billion.
Experts believe 3 billion transactions every month, that is at least 100 million a day could soon see reality.