On 9 March 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched a new digital payment feature for digital UPI transactions with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). This new feature called UPI123Pay will encourage non-smartphone users to make UPI payment without internet.
“UPI123Pay will digitally empower millions across the country and help NPCI achieve its dream of billion-plus daily UPI transactions,” said Biswamohan Mahapatra, chairman, NPCI.
Currently, many feature phone users in India haven’t benefited from the digital payment ecosystem of India. And, UPI payments are restricted to smartphone users only. With this new mode of payment, the RBI is all set to help feature phone users make offline digital payments.
What is UPI123Pay?
UPI’s soaring popularity in India has made it the most sought after payment method. But many users don’t have access to the internet and don’t own a smartphone.
Shaktikanta Das, Governor of RBI, said, “It is important to bring feature phone users into mainstream digital payments. And UPI123Pay was born. It helps users send money and pay bills via their feature phones without the internet.
“UPI 123Pay is about empowering more people to get onboarded digital experience through feature phones,” He continued.
How to make UPI payments without internet
To transact digitally, the users have to link their bank account with their feature phone.
1: Call the IVR number – 08045163666
2: Press ‘#’ to manage your account
3: Tell the name of your bank to the operator
4: Confirm your bank account to create your UPI ID
Now you can follow the below steps to make transactions.
1: Link your account with the feature phone
2: Set your UPI PIN by using your debit card
3: Use your phone and call the IVR number – 08045163666
4: Choose the specific service (Money transfer or Balance check)
5: Say the name of the linked bank
6: Press 1 to confirm details
7: Tap the ‘1’ key to send money by using your mobile number
8: Enter your registered mobile number
9: Confirm details
10: Enter the amount you want to transfer
11: Enter your UPI pin and confirm the transaction
Note: To pay a merchant, users can use the missed call payment method.
How will UPI123Pay help feature phone users?
With UPI123Pay, users can make UPI transactions through their feature phones. It will allow customers to use all UPI features, excluding scan and pay (Only available for smartphone users).
Individuals won’t need an internet connection to make transactions. But they have to link their respective bank account with their feature phones (linked to their debit card).
4 Ways To Make UPI Transactions
- Missed call: Users can give a missed call to the number displayed at any merchant outlet or kiosk to pay their bills. To authenticate the transaction, the user will receive a call to enter the UPI PIN and complete the transaction.
- UPI 123Pay app: Users can install the app on their mobile phone to use many UPI features.
- Interactive voice response (IVR): In this mode, users have to call from their respective phones to a specific number. The UPI team will help the user and start the transaction process.
- Proximity Sound-based Payments: This uses sound waves to enable contactless, offline, and proximity data communication on any device.
DigiSaathi, a 24/7 helpline, will assist users and answer their queries on digital payments via website, chatbot facility, and toll-free calls. DigiSaathi provides a channel to get help on the entire gamut of digital payments. Automated responses on information related to digital payment products and services are available in Hindi and English (for now).
Toll-free number – 1800-891-3333 | website – www.digisaathi.info
Where to use UPI123Pay
Users can use UPI123Pay to recharge their mobiles and Fastags, pay daily bills, send money, pay EMIs and much more. Users can also check their bank balances via UPI123Pay.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said, “The launch of UPI123Pay makes the facilities under UPI now accessible to that section of society which was so far excluded from the digital payment landscape. In that way, it is promoting financial inclusion in our economy.”
What are the two offline modes of payment using UPI?
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has rolled out two new modes of offline payments for users. You can make offline payments using UPI’s 123PAY or USSD code *99#.
What is *99#?
*99# service has been launched to provide banking services to every common person across the country. Banking customers can avail of this service by dialling *99# on their mobile phones and transacting through an interactive menu displayed on the mobile screen.Key services offered under *99# service include Sending and Receiving interbank account to account funds, balance enquiry, setting / changing UPI PIN besides a host of other services.
What are the features of *99#?
Features of *99# are:
- Uses USSD as the access channel that works across all GSM handsets (smartphone or otherwise), helping it reach the last mile user
- Supports menu-based applications that are easy to manoeuvre for the users
- It does not require data connectivity, making it a high availability service.
- Works even on holidays
- Accessible through a common code *99# across specific GSM Operators and mobile handsets
- Additional channel for using BHIM app and key catalyst for financial inclusion
How to register for *99# payment?
Step 1: Dial *99# from your registered phone number
Step 2: A pop-up will appear once the USSD code starts running
Step 3: Select the bank that you want to register for offline payment (You can search using the first four letters of the IFSC of your bank account)
Note: If you have multiple bank accounts, select the bank account you want to register from the list.
Step 4:Enter the last six digits of your debit card
Step 5: Enter the expiry date of your debit card
Step 6: Confirm your six-digit UPI PIN
You are done!
What are the features available on *99# based offline payment?
You will get the following options once you dial *99# on your phone:
- Send Money
- Request Money
- Check Balance
- My Profile
- Pending Requests
- UPI PIN
Why is *99# not working on Jio phones?
*99# is not supported on Jio phones. Currently, this feature is available on Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi), BSNL and MTNL.
How to check UPI balance with *99#
You can dial *99# and press ‘3’ – Check Balance on the dial pad. It will show the balance amount in your bank account. If you have multiple bank accounts, you must first select and add the number associated with ‘Check Balance’ on the USSD pop-up.