Mobile Apps to Make Digital Payments Simpler

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Digital payment methods have become a preferred choice in almost any purchases we make nowadays. Thanks to the governments’ Digital India drive, various payment applications have been made available to ensure safe, secure and well-documented transactions. In this article we look at some popular apps that can make our transactions easier. It is important to note that all payment-related applications will require updated KYC details, so keep your Aadhaar Card, PAN Card and other eligible IDs ready before installing these programs.

PhonePe

PhonePe payment app provides the benefits of multiple payment methods, including direct bank transfers, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions, e-wallet recharges, debit or credit card-based transactions. You can link your bank accounts for transferring money.

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The application can be used for various utility bill payments (electricity, water, cable, broadband, etc), mobile recharges, insurance payments, credit card payments and so on. It can also be used to check the balance(s) in linked bank accounts.

The app’s Scan and Pay option provides two modes of fund transfers, especially at retail outlets. One is by scanning QR codes and the other is called POS transfer. POS transfer can be used if the retailer has a PhonePe POS machine, where the purchaser’s (in this case you) smartphone’s Bluetooth is powered and paired with the POS machine to transfer the amount.

PhonePe home screen
PhonePe home screen

Paytm

Almost all of us are familiar with Paytm. It is the e-payment application with the largest user base in India. Paytm offers a variety of payment methods: e-wallet, credit or debit card, UPI, netbanking, QR-based payment and so on. A large number of retailers accept Paytm payments. The app also has its own e-shopping section, Paytm Mall.

A new initiative of Paytm is the introduction of Paytm Payments Bank. The bank provides you with a complete digital banking platform, including savings account, digital passbook, virtual debit card and various investment schemes. Soon, physical copies of the debit card and passbook will also be available.

The user interface of the application may appear cluttered and complicated at first, but the extent of features to be fitted in one platform necessitates this mode of accommodation. Overall, Paytm covers all your financial maintenance needs.

Paytm home screen (left) and Paytm Payments Bank page
Paytm home screen (left) and Paytm Payments Bank page

Jio Money

Reliance Jio expanded its presence to e-payments with Jio Money. This wallet-based application is easy to use with a user-friendly interface. You can hold a single Jio Money account, which is linked to your phone number.

Reliance Retail outlets and others who support Jio payments accept Jio Money via QR code, or simply through the merchant’s phone number. Online sites, including BookMyShow, Yatra and Burp, accept payments through Jio Money wallet.

Jio Money has a feature that lets you transfer money from the wallet to a linked bank account. However, due to regulations set by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), this feature may not be available for all users from the start.

Home screen of Jio Money
Home screen of Jio Money

Google Tez

Using UPI, Google’s payment app for India, Tez transfers money directly from or to a linked bank account, omitting the necessity of opening a separate e-wallet. A UPI PIN is generated during registration, which is needed for the transactions.

Google Tez brings an interesting feature called Cash Mode. It requires two working smartphones, with Tez configured in both, to be near each other, one as the payer (swipe up to Pay) and the other as the payee (swipe down to Receive). Using a technology called Audio-QR, the two devices can recognise each other using ultrasonic sound patterns and initiate the transaction. This feature is instantaneous and very handy for money transactions without revealing any kind of information related to bank details.

The application can be locked separately using a PIN, pattern or biometrics (fingerprint). Tracking down transaction history is simple. It is stored in a conversation-like interface.

Google Tez app
Google Tez app

BHIM SBI Pay

State Bank of India has brought to us its own UPI-based digital payment solution, called BHIM SBI Pay. The only prerequisite for using this app is that you have an account with a bank, which complies with UPI platforms. (Most major banks do; do verify before use.)
On registration, you will generate a Virtual Payment Address (VPA), in the format [email protected]

As soon as this is done, you are eligible to do transactions that do not require any bank details, only a unique VPA.

Apart from the VPA, you also have access to other transaction methods like netbanking, QR-driven transfer or using Aadhar. There is no wallet or money-storage process involved. However, you can link multiple bank accounts to a single VPA.

Logging in to BHIM SBI Pay
Logging in to BHIM SBI Pay

Oxigen Wallet

One of the earliest entrants in the e-payments market, Oxigen Wallet is accepted across many retail outlets in India. It offers a simple wallet-to-bank transfer method, requiring necessary bank account details. Mobile recharges, bills payment and bookings can be carried out with ease. In addition, the wallet can also be used as a mode of payment across various online shopping sites.

MobiKwik

MobiKwik has garnered a very large user base, both from customers and merchants. It is accepted widely at retail stores, online shops, for mobile recharges as well as at utility and billing services.

This wallet-based application has a very clean and simple interface with a variety of features like booking an Ola cab, checking out nearby retail stores, finding the nearest petrol pump and the like. Apart from wallet-based transfers, transactions can also be done via QR scanning, UPI and bank-based transfers. You can send money from your wallet to bank accounts via IMPS.

Mobikwik wallet and its various features
Mobikwik wallet and its various features

Vodafone M-Pesa

Vodafone’s M-Pesa is a swift mobile wallet, especially for mobile recharges and bill payments. Its Quick Pay feature allows a one-click transaction based on your most used transaction history. Moreover, you can transfer money to bank accounts or withdraw an amount from M-Pesa account as needed.

Electricity bills, DTH subscriptions, Internet bills, online payments and all such services are payable through M-Pesa. You will need to complete your Aadhaar-based KYC at the nearest Vodafone store to avail these services.

You can find more such payment options that can help you go cashless, hassle-free. Let us know which one you use the most.

M-Pesa app
M-Pesa app
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