The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today launched a new service to enable UPI payments for non-smartphone users. UPI ‘123PAY’ is a three-step method to initiate and execute services for users who have less advanced mobile phones or an internet connection via their phones. “Till now, multifaceted features of UPI are mostly available only on smartphones, which excludes people from the lower rung of the society from an economic perspective, especially in rural areas, from accessing the popular service,” RBI Governor Shashikant Das said.
“The UPI volumes have touched to Rs 76 lakh crore in FY22 so far, as against Rs 41 lakh crore in FY21. The day is not far when the overall volumes will touch Rs 100 lakh crore,” he added.
UPI has emerged as one of the most popular modes of payments in India over the past few years, especially after demonetisation and the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the single largest retail payments system in the country in terms of volume of transactions.
Feature 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, payment of mobile bills, and checking account balances.
The RBI has made the following services accessible via four alternatives:
- An IVR (interactive voice response) system thats users can call to make a transaction.
- A mobile phone app (for simpler phones) in which all transactions available on a UPI app on smartphone will be offered, except for the feature to scan and pay.
- Missed call-based approach in which users can send a missed call to initiate transactions.
- Proximity sound-based payments.
The RBI also launched a 24×7 helpline for digital payments on 8 March. It has been 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 queries on digital payments and grievances.