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RBI launches instant payment system “UPI 123PAY” for feature phones, 24/7 DigiSaathi helpline

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das on Tuesday launched an instant payment system “UPI 123PAY” for feature phone users. The RBI chief said that the new Unified Payments Interface (UPI) will allow India’s 40 crore feature phone users to access the payment service in a more secure manner.

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Currently, UPI services are available for users through the USSD-based (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data-based) services.

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Terming the UPI platform ‘123PAY’, Governor Das also launched a helpline for digital payments, ‘DigiSaathi’ in a special RBI event. He said that ‘excluded people’ from lower rung of society, especially in rural areas, will now be able to access UPI services.

Feature phone users will now be able to undertake a host of transactions based on four technology alternatives. They include calling an IVR (interactive voice response) number, app functionality in feature phones, missed call-based approach and also proximity sound-based payments, the RBI said.

With the launch of this new UPI for feature phones, Das added that it will help National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India, reach its goal of processing a billion transactions a day.

UPI 123Pay will also help RBI reach its objective of a less-cash economy, Das added, saying that more limited payment options will be available to feature phone users.

UPI has emerged as a popular mode of payment through smartphones. The number of digital transactions has grown over five times and large part of this limited to those who hold smart phones, Das said.

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At present, UPI services are available for such users through the USSD-based services, but the same has been found to be cumbersome and all the mobile operators do not allow such services, Deputy Governor T Rabi Shankar said.

Mr Das also launched the 24×7 helpline for digital payments – DigiSaathi.

The helpline will assist the users with all their queries on digital payments through website and chatbot. Users can visit www.digisaathi.info or call on 14431 and 1800 891 3333 for their queries on digital payments and grievances.

UPI is the country’s largest digital payment system in terms of transaction volumes. UPI is developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), umbrella organisation for all digital payments.

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