Home / Industry / Banking /  UPI for feature phone sees traction
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MUMBAI: The National Payments Corp. Of India (NPCI) has seen some early traction in UPI123Pay, the new payment method for those with feature phones, with over 2 lakh active users for one such product, a senior official said on Tuesday.

“It is as simple as transferring money from A to B. (Use cases involve) Fastag recharges for your cars, insurance payments, and equated monthly instalments (EMI) collections," Praveena Rai, chief operating officer, NPCI, said at the Global Fintech Fest.

These are some of the early use cases that are very context-specific with certain fintechs putting their innovative minds behind them, she said, adding that there are also some instances where UPI123Pay is live. These are payments for electricity bills, mobile recharge and gas connections.

In March, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched unified payments interface (UPI) for feature phones, thereby brining in about 400 million users of such phones under the ambit of India’s home-grown payments network.

“Right now, there are about 200,000 active users who are doing this with the first programme that went live with fintech Ultracash Technologies and Bharat Gas. This is so convenient because users are just calling a number, booking a gas cylinder and completing the payment," she said.

The new payments system for feature phone users involves four different technologies. The first one is through use of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) numbers. One can dial a number and initiate a secured call from feature phone, and after getting registered can start financial transactions without internet connectivity.

The second module is through apps on feature phones. A majority of UPI functions will be available on apps that are available on feature phones and one can undertake almost all kinds of UPI transactions except scan and pay, which is still a work in progress.

The third method of feature phone UPI involves proximity sound-based payments. This technology uses sound waves to enable networking and therefore carry out contactless offline and proximity data communication on any device. The last method is a quintessential Indian way -- missed call approach -- where users receive a callback from a standard number to authenticate and carry out transactions.

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