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Actor Sushant Singh Rajput to Promote Dipping Bhim App Usage (and Women Entrepreneurship) for Niti Aayog

BHIM app hasn’t done as well as it did it in the early days of demonetization; Rajput’s popularity may appeal to youthful mobile internet user base

Niti Aayog and Bollywood actor and newbie entrepreneur Sushant Singh Rajput have decided to collaborate to promote two major initiatives of Niti Aayog, the BHIM app and the Women Entrepreneurship Platform.

As part of its larger mandate to promote digital payments across the country, the Niti Aayog has been successfully driving the digital payments campaign in India, wherein it collaborates with youth leaders and public figures to promote the cashless payment systems across the country.

Niti Aayog continues to bring disruption within the industrial space with the establishment of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), which was launched earlier this year on International Women’s Day with a mission to establish a comprehensive ecosystem for women entrepreneurs across India.

It is to promote these efforts that Rajput would be entering into an agreement with Niti Aayog. The agreement would be signed by Rajput and Anna Roy, adviser, Niti Aayog, in the presence of Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog.

The actor only last week announced his entrepreneurial debut as partner of Innsaei Ventures. The company is to work on creating and distributing intellectual property in areas like content and communication, health and holistic wellness, education and learning using new technologies like augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is a mobile app developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), based on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). It was launched in December 2016. Recent reports of plateauing user numbers indicate BHIM needs the push. After getting off to a record-breaking start, a March 217 media report citing NPCI said BHIM had 19.16 million downloads but only 5.1 million active users – those who have linked phone number with bank account. The early days of demonetization coincided with growth of BHIM user base which then began to plateau as RBI restrictions on cash withdrawals began to be eased and of course due to competing apps. However by March 2018 according to data from NPCI, BHIM had regained ground lost to other UPI payment apps as its share rose to 6.7 percent in March from February 2018. Data for BHIM’s share of transactions on UPI is not yet disclosed, but reports indicate UPI transaction growth was under 7 percent in April 2018. 

In addition to getting banks to encourage customers to switch to mobile banking, BHIM now offers cash back schemes – like giving back 51 rupees to a first-time customer upon completing their first transaction and 10 percent cashback to merchants on transactions with upper limit of 50 rupees, if the merchant has completed at least ten transactions with minimum value of 25 rupees.

The endorsement of a public figure who appeals to the youth, described as aged under 44 and incidentally the largest base of mobile phone and internet users in India would likely help Niti Aayog reach its targets for BHIM and of course the actor’s advocacy of entrepreneurship would appeal to his fan base as the think tank encourages women to take up job creating endeavours especially among those in tier 2 and 3 cities.

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