UPI-powered Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) was among the first tide of apps launched to complete digital payments using Universal Payments Interface (UPI). BHIM’s greatest contribution has been less in enabling digital payments and more in creating an ecosystem that has helped India advance in digital payments.
The growth in one year from BHIM’s launch has been impressive but from past 6 months growth has slowed down with total UPI transactions declining from 40% in January 2017 to 6.27% in December.
BHIM’s competitors such as Google Tez , MobiKwik, Paytm & PhonePe seem to have stolen some of BHIM’s thunder by giving away cashbacks, freebies and incentives which does the additional trick of weaning users away from BHIM.
BHIM was launched to showcase UPI’s potential. Its limitation has been lack of marketing. However BHIM’s achievement has been in accelerating use of UPI, giving rise to the wave that apps such as Google Tez are riding.
Competitors used marketing as their strategy to catch the attention of the consumer who may be hanging out on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, WhatsApp or other social media platforms.
Overall, BHIM played the mascot for UPI and was a very positive move. It helped penetrate the digital payments ecosystem. It also created awareness and trust among users at the peak of demonetisation. While BHIM may not be strong enough in the future, but the army it has created will certainly win all.