Karbonn rolls out India's first 'BHIM' smartphone
Karbonn Mobiles has partnered with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch India's first smartphone that comes integrated with BHIM digital payment app.
The handset 'K9 Kavach 4G' is priced at Rs 5,290 and is available both via online and offline sales channels. While there have been 25 million downloads of BHIM app in the last six months, only seven million people are actively using it, NPCI Managing Director and CEO A P Hota told reporters here.
"By preloading it, users will not have to separately download the app. Also, the fear that they might download a fake app will go away. This partnership will ensure that the app reaches thousands of people who will actively use it for transactions," he added.
The BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) app was launched in December last year. The indigenous digital payments platform is designed to make payments through NPCI's UPI and USSD (mobile short code message used mainly for banking services on feature phones) simpler.
Hota said he is also hopeful that more handset makers will come forward to work towards pre-loading the BHIM app on their devices in the coming months. There has been a massive growth in number of transactions using digital platforms in the country, especially after the government's move to scrap high-denomination notes in November.
The government has also introduced a number of schemes to promote adoption of e-payment methods like mobile wallets, debit/credit cards and Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
"We have been focusing on adding features that are relevant to the users. Digital transactions in the country have seen manifold growth and mobile phones are an integral part of that," Karbonn Mobiles Executive Director Shashin Devsare said.