RBI's new UPI service for feature phone

RBI's new UPI service for feature phone

On Tuesday, (the RBI) Reserve Bank of India launched a new service to start UPI payments for non-smartphone users. UPI' 123PAY' is three simple methods to initiate and execute services for users who have less advanced mobile phones or an internet connection via their phones.

RBI Governor Shashikant Das quoted PTI

"Till now, various features of UPI are mostly available only on smartphones, which keep out people from the lower reach of the society from a finance perspective, especially in rural areas, from accessing the popular service,"

he added.

"The UPI volumes have touched to ₹76 lakh crore in FY22 so far, as against ₹41 lakh crore in FY21. The day is not far when the overall volumes will touch ₹100 lakh crore,"

UPI has emerged as one of India's most popular modes of payments over the past few years, especially after demonetization and the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the single most extensive retail payments system in the country regarding the volume of transactions.

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Features phone users will now be able to undertake a host of transactions, such as payments to friends and family, payment of utility bills, recharging of vehicle FAST Tags, price of mobile bills, and checking account balances.

All these services can be accessed via four alternatives:

1. An IVR (interactive voice response) system users can call to make a transaction.

2. A mobile phone app (for simpler phones) in which all transactions available on a UPI app on a smartphone will be offered, except for the feature to scan and pay.

3. Missed call-based approach in which users can send a missed call to initiate transactions.

4. Proximity sound-based payments.

Das also launched a 24x7 helpline for digital payments on Tuesday, set up by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The helpline - named 'Digisaathi' - will assist callers/users with all their queries on digital payments via website and chatbot.

Users can visit www.digisaathi.info or call on 14431 and 1800 891 3333 from their phones for their digital payments and grievances queries.