RBI launches ‘UPI123Pay’ for feature phones

JNS: RBI launched ‘UPI123Pay’— UPI payment system for feature phones aiming to help people in remote areas who cannot afford a smartphone.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das launched ‘UPI123Pay’ and ‘DigiSaathi’ on Tuesday. Speaking on the occasion Das said,

People in rural areas who can not afford smartphones will benefit from UPI on feature phones. This new platform would enable UPI facilitate the segment of society that had been mostly left out of the digital payments ecosystem. As a result, a larger segment of society will be able to take advantage of the convenience of digital payments, he said.

By comparison, a year earlier, the UPI had 453 million transactions worth Rs 8.26 lakh crore in February 2022, Das said during the event. A year from now, he predicted, the entire value of transactions on UPI would reach Rs 41 lakh crore, compared to the current fiscal year’s total volume of transactions at Rs 76 lakh crore, which he predicted will soon surpass Rs 100 lakh crore in total.

Notably, earlier, feature phone owners were able to make digital payments but only via USSD by dialling *99# and following the numeric interface presented by the banking system. The system often caused problems and was limited to few mobile operators.

The new 123PAY system will fill this gap with the help of four technologies, as explained during the launch. The four technologies are Interactive voice response or IVR, apps in feature phones, missed call-based payments, and proximity sound-based payments.

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