RBI governor Shaktikanta Das launches UPI service for feature phones

The program will promote financial inclusion, said Das

By Anoushka Sawhney

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das launched a unified payments interface (UPI) service, called UPI123PAY, for feature phones on Tuesday. 

The service will benefit 40 crore feature phone users across India. Earlier, it was only available on smartphones. 

The program is promoting “financial inclusion in our economy”. 

“It is called UPI123PAY as there are three steps, which will take the user to the stage of completion of transfer,” Das said. The service can be accessed through the following three steps: 

1 Make a call 

2 Choose an option 

3 Make the payment 

The user would have to link their bank account with their feature phones and set a UPI pin through their debit card. The user can make the payment through the app or a missed call on 8282008282. 

The service on feature phones is not dependent on internet connectivity and is available in many Indian languages. 

Das said that this was announced by him in the December 2021 monetary policy statement and with the support of everyone involved we have finally launched the program today. 

Feature phones have the ability to access the internet, click pictures and play music, but lack advanced qualities of a smartphone.

“India’s digital economy has flourished over the past few years, “ Das said. 

 The UPI has recorded 453 crore transactions worth Rs 8.26 lakh crore in February 2022, which is almost double compared to previous years, he added. 

Das said that the total value of UPI transactions in the financial year 2020-21 was 41 lakh crore. The total volume of transactions for this fiscal year is Rs 76 lakh crore. 

With the cooperation of all the service providers and new initiatives, one day the overall volume of transactions would reach 100 lakh crore, Das said. 

A 24*7 helpline for digital payments called DigiSaathi set up by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) was also launched by the RBI governor. 

Information on NEFT, Credit, Debit and Prepaid cards, UPI, PPI wallets, ATM, Mobile banking, Internet banking, Bharat BillPay, etc., can be availed through the helpline. The customer will also be able to check their account balance and change UPI PINs.   

The service is available in Hindi and English and will be available in other Indian languages as well in future, Das said. 

The users can visit www.digisaathi.info or call on the toll-free number 14431 and 18008913333 for grievances related to digital payments. 

“The two landmark initiatives being launched today, that is, UPI123PAY and DigiSaathi represent two diverse yet significant dimensions of our payments ecosystem,” Das said.  

He said that UPI123PAY is about empowering more people to get onboard to a digital experience through feature phones and DigiSaathi is further enhancing the consumers trust in the digital payment ecosystem.