RBI UPI for Feature Phones (UPI123pay) and 24x7 Digital Payments Helpline (DigiSaathi)

The Reserve Bank of India has launched two new services: (a) UPI for Feature Phones (UPI123pay) and (b) a 24x7 Digital Payments Helpline (DigiSaathi)

RBI UPI for Feature Phones (UPI123pay) and 24x7 Digital Payments Helpline (DigiSaathi)

During the launch of the two projects, RBI Governor Shri Shaktikanta Das emphasised the importance of these initiatives in increasing the diversity, utility, and transformative impact of digital technologies in the country. These activities will help to strengthen the digital ecosystem and increase financial inclusion. The Governor further underlined that the RBI is dedicated to creating a conducive environment for this.

UPI123Pay – an option to make Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments for feature phone users

DigiSaathi – a 24x7 Helpline to resolve digital payment customers' queries across products.

At the moment, smart phones provide convenient access to UPI. UPI can be accessed via NUUP (National Unified USSD Platform) by dialling *99#. However, this is a time-consuming and unpopular approach. Given that the country has over 40 crore feature phone mobile customers, UPI123pay will significantly expand the choices for such consumers to use UPI. UPI123Pay has four distinct alternatives, which are listed below:

  1. App-based Functionality: An app would be installed on the feature phone through which several UPI functions, available on smartphones, will also be available on feature phones.

  2. Missed Call: This will allow feature phone users to access their bank account and perform routine transactions such as receiving, transferring funds, regular purchases, bill payments, etc., by giving a missed call on the number displayed at the merchant outlet. The customer will receive an incoming call to authenticate the transaction by entering UPI PIN.

  3. Interactive Voice Response (IVR): UPI payment through pre-defined IVR numbers would require users to initiate a secured call from their feature phones to a predetermined number and complete UPI on-boarding formalities to be able to start making financial transactions without internet connection.

  4. Proximity Sound-based Payments: This uses sound waves to enable contactless, offline, and proximity data communication on any device

The 'DigiSaathi' Helpline, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, provides a route for obtaining assistance with all aspects of digital payments. Automated responses on digital payment products and services are provided in Hindi and English via a variety of channels, including (a) a toll-free number (1800-891-3333), (b) a short code (14431), (c) a website – www.digisaathi.info, and chatbots. DigiSaathi will assist users with their digital payment queries via website and chatbot functionality, as well as toll-free calls where the user can phone or speak out the alternatives / items for which information is necessary. More interactive features and language options will be available in the future.

The activities listed above are intended to speed the pace of digital adoption in India by developing a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem that can accommodate a broader range of people.