RBI launches UPI 123Pay for digital payments on feature phones

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor also launched a helpline for digital payments - DigiSaathi

March 9, 2022

The move comes after RBI announced its plan to introduce UPI in feature phones in December 2021

UPI 123Pay will allow customers to use feature phones for almost all transactions barring scan and pay and will not need internet

Customers can also make UPI payments through pre-defined numbers and use proximity sound-based payments

This is expected to help people in rural areas who do not have a smartphone to participate in UPI transactions

The RBI governor Shaktikanta Das rolled out a unified payments Interface (UPI) service called UPI 123Pay for phones to accelerate digital adoption and launched a 24×7 helpline for digital payments called DigiSaathi. The move comes after RBI announced its plan to introduce UPI in feature phones in December 2021.

UPI 123Pay, the latest measure used by the apex bank to push digital transactions, will allow customers to use feature phones for almost all transactions barring scan and pay and will not need an active internet connection. All customers will need to do is link their bank account with feature phones to use this facility. This is expected to help people in rural areas who do not have a smartphone to participate in UPI transactions.

The UPI 123Pay service will provide an app-based functionality and will allow feature phone users to access their bank account and perform routine transactions by giving a missed call on the number displayed at the merchant outlet. The customers can also make UPI payments through pre-defined interactive voice response (IVR) numbers and use proximity sound-based payments – a technology that uses sound waves to enable contactless, offline, and proximity data communication on any device.

Enabling UPI capabilities on feature phones will likely increase the digital penetration of financial services and help a large segment of people without access to smartphones or reliable internet services to transact digitally.