RBI rolls out UPI for feature phones — you will no longer need a smartphone or internet to make payments digitally

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RBI rolls out UPI for feature phones — you will no longer need a smartphone or internet to make payments digitally
RBI launched 123 Pay RBI
  • India’s central bank has launched UPI payment service for feature phones.
  • This will bring non-smartphone users to the platform and enable them to pay digitally without needing an internet connection.
  • The move will further fuel India’s digital payment adoption.
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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has rolled out Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for feature phones. Following his announcement in December 2021, the RBI governor has now delivered the promise of bringing the simplified digital payment service to non-smart mobile phones in India.

The UPI payment system was limited to smartphones with internet connectivity till now. While UPI turned out to be a hit for fuelling digital payments in the country, its accessibility to the masses with feature phones was awaited for a long time.

“While we have been growing impressively in digital payments, a large part of digitisation is limited to people with smartphones. There are about 40 crore feature phone users who have limited access to digital payments," said T Rabi Sankar, RBI deputy governor.

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UPI is a platform developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) together with the Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Banks Association (IBA). It is a platform that brings together various banking services and features in a single app. Users have a unique UPI ID that can be used to send and receive payments using a secure PIN. These payments can be made using a mobile number associated with the UPI ID as well.

Digital payment via UPI is not only safe, but it fastens and simplifies the way we send and receive money. It also makes payments seamless for new age app-based food delivery, ride-hailing, e-commerce and similar services.

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In the calendar year 2021, UPI touched record high transactions, both in volume and value terms. As per National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), UPI processed more than 38 billion transactions, amounting to ₹71.59 trillion.

With the launch of UPI on feature phones, the transactions are projected to grow even further in CY 2022.

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