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14 Mar, 2022
Now UPI-based Payment without Smart Phones!!!

Governor Shaktikanta Das of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched a new type of unique payments interface (UPI) for feature phones on 8th March, Tuesday in a way to enhance digitization and increase the safety of online transactions. He said that the API will allow India's 40 crore feature phone customers to use the payment service.Governor Das, who named the UPI platform '123PAY,' also announced the launch of a digital-payment helpline center– 'DigiSaathi,' at a special RBI event. He stated that people belonging to the lower socioeconomic strata, especially from rural areas, will now be able to use UPI payment services.

The implementation of this new UPI for feature phones will help the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which employs retail payments and settlement systems in India, which enables a billion transactions per day.UPI 123Pay would also help the RBI to fulfill its goal of a cashless economy.UPI has become a very popular payment option via smartphone. Thus, the number of digital transactions has increased fivefold, but this is limited to only smartphone users. At present, only smartphone users can use UPI efficiently. UPI can be used through NUUP (National Unified USSD Platform) using the short-code of *99#. But this option is inconvenient and not famous.If there are more than 40 crore feature phone mobile users in the country, UPI123pay will significantly improve those users'to access UPI.

UPI123Pay consists of four distinct features as below:

  1. App-based Functionality: An app will be installed on the feature phone similar to smartphones, through which several UPI functions, will also be available on feature phones.
  2. Missed Call: This will help feature phone users to use their bank account and carry outdaily transactions such as receiving, transferring funds, regular purchases, bill payments, etc., by only giving a missed call on the number shown at the merchant outlet. The customer will receive an incoming call to verify the transaction by entering UPI PIN.
  3. Inter-active Voice Response (IVR): UPI payment through pre-defined IVR numbers would require users to initiate a secured call from their feature phones to a predetermined number and complete UPI initial formalities to start making financial transactions without an internet connection.
  4. Proximity Sound-based Payments: It is a process where sound waves enable contactless, offline, and nearby data communication on any device.

With this app, can make payments to friends and family, pay their utility bills, recharge mobile bills, refill fast tags and can check bank account balances. Also, customers can link bank accounts and set or update UPI PINs. Additionally, the 'Digisaathi' helpline will be available 24/7 to help callers/users with all their digital payment-related queries through the website and chatbot.For queries regarding digital payments and issues, users can visit www.digisaathi.info or contact 14431 and 1800 891 3333 from their respective phones.The DigiSaathi helpline and UPI123Pay are confined to see further innovations that can facilitate payments across industry verticals. Thus, RBI's 'UPI 123PAY' is an excellent initiative to bridge the digital gap and support the penetration of digital services among low-income groups. It will also encourage higher volumes of digital transactions mostly across rural sectors of the country, which will eventually connect the India-Bharat digital gap and help the nation to move towards a cashless economy.

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