New Delhi: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das on Tuesday launched a new service that will enable over 400 million feature phone or normal mobile phone users to make digital payments securely. People who do not have an internet connection can make digital payments through this service called UPI ‘123pay’ and this service will work on ordinary phones.
Shaktikanta Das said that till now the services of UPI are mainly available on smartphones, due to which people from the lower strata of the society are not able to use them. He said that this is especially so in rural areas. He said that in the financial year 2021-22 so far, UPI transactions have reached Rs 76 lakh crore, as compared to Rs 41 lakh crore in the previous financial year. He said that the day is not far when the total transaction figure will reach Rs 100 lakh crore.
According to an estimate, 400 million mobile phone users in the country have normal feature phones. Deputy Governor T Rabi Shankar said that at present, UPI services are available to such users through USSD-based services, but it is quite cumbersome and not all mobile operators allow such services.
The RBI said that feature phone users can now perform a wide range of transactions based on four technical options. These include 1) calling IVR (Interactive Voice Response) numbers, 2) app functionality in feature phones, 3) missed call based method and 4) proximity voice-based payments.
Through this service, users can send money to friends and family, pay various utility bills and will also get the facility to recharge fast tags of vehicles and pay mobile bills. Das on Tuesday also launched a helpline for digital payments, which has been prepared by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).