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EXPLAINED: Here is how UPI would work on feature phones and offline mode

Mar 8, 2022, 15:14 IST
Business Insider India
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  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday announced the launch of UPI123Pay.
  • The feature will also allow users to make UPI payments without internet on feature phones.
  • Nearly 400 million feature phone users in India are expected to benefit out of this, RBI noted.
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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday announced the launch of UPI123Pay, which will allow feature phone users to make payments through unified payments interface (UPI). The feature will also allow users to make UPI payments without the internet on their feature phones.

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das had announced his intention to launch UPI for feature phones in December 2021.

“The initiative launched today have the potential to deepen the digital ecosystem and financial inclusion,” Das said. He emphasised that the RBI has taken more than 50 initiatives — including guidelines on interoperability, tokeniations and more — in the past year to deepen the digital payments ecosystem in India.

How UPI 123pay will work on feature phones?
Step one: The user will have to link their bank account with their feature phones.

Step two: The user would then have to set up their UPI pin by using their debit card details.
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S tep three: To make payments, the user will have to call an IVR number ‘080 4516 3666’ and select the payment option — money transfer, LPG gas refill, Fastag recharge, mobile recharge, EMI payment, balance check and more.

Step Four: To transfer the money to a peer, the users can simply select the ‘money transfer’ option and send the contact. The user will then have to enter the amount to be transferred and the UPI pin to make the transfer. This feature can be used to make payments to friends, family, shops and more.

How to make missed call based payments?

Step One: The central bank has also launched a missed call payments feature, which will allow a user to make a UPI payment by simply giving a missed call on the merchant/shop’s number.

Step Two: The user would have to give a missed call on the number given to them by the merchant/shopkeeper. The number acts as the ID for the said merchant.

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Step Three: A pop-up will appear on the phone screen, just like in other payment modes, asking the user to add the amount to be transferred and confirm the payments by adding their UPI pin.

How to make sound-based payments?

The user will also be allowed to make sound-based payments by tapping their phone on the sound-based payments device. After tapping the device, the user has to enter the amount to be transferred and validate the transaction with their UPI pin.

The option of app based payment is also available.

The RBI has created a Server Side Common Library through which feature phone users have been included in the UPI payments mode, the central bank’s presentation revealed.

UPI123Pay will allow 400 million feature phone users in India to participate in the digital payments ecosystem of India. These purchases can be completed via SMS and do not require an internet connection. The UPI123Pay feature is available in several Indian languages.
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