RBI Governor Das launches UPI service for 400 million feature phone users

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das on Tuesday launched a new service that will enable over 400 million feature phone or ordinary mobile phone users to make digital payments in a secure manner.

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.

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. This is especially so in rural areas, he said.

He said that in the financial year 2021-22 so far, UPI transactions have reached Rs 76 lakh crore as against 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 Ravi 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 feature phone users can now perform a 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 FASTag of vehicles and pay mobile bills.

Das on Tuesday also launched a helpline for digital payments, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

The helpline of this helpline named ‘DijiSathi’ can be availed through the website – ‘dijisathi.com’ and phone numbers – ‘14431’ and ‘1800 891 3333’.