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UPI123Pay and Digisaathi

  • 10 Mar 2022
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched new UPI services for feature phones called UPI123Pay for non internet users to make digital payments, also launched a 24x7 helpline for digital payments called 'Digisaathi'.

  • 'Digisaathi' has also been set up by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to provide users with automated responses on information related to digital payment products and services. Presently it is available in English and Hindi language.

What is Unified Payments Interface (UPI)?

  • It is an advanced version of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)- round–the-clock funds transfer service to make cashless payments faster, easier and smoother.
  • UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.
  • UPI is currently the biggest among the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) operated systems including National Automated Clearing House (NACH), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Aadhaar enabled Payment System (AePS), Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), RuPay etc.
  • The top UPI apps today include PhonePe, Paytm, Google Pay, Amazon Pay and BHIM, the latter being the Government offering.

What is UPI 123 Pay?

  • About:
    • It will work on simple phones that do not have an internet connection.
      • As of now, the UPI features are mostly available only on smartphones.
    • The UPI service for feature phones will leverage the RBI's regulatory Sandbox on Retail Payments.
      • A regulatory sandbox usually refers to live testing of new products or services in a controlled/test regulatory environment for which regulators may permit certain regulatory relaxations for the limited purpose of the testing.
    • The UPI service will enable digital transactions through a mechanism of ‘on-device’ wallet in UPI applications."
    • The users will be able to undertake a host of transactions based on four technology alternatives including- IVR (interactive voice response) number, missed call-based approach, app functionality in feature phones and proximity sound-based payments..
  • Benefits:
    • The new service for feature phones will enable individuals to make direct payments to others without smartphones and internet.
    • Users can initiate payments to friends and family, pay utility bills, recharge the FAST Tags of their vehicles, pay mobile bills and also allow users to check account balances.
    • It will allow customers to use feature phones for almost all transactions except scan and pay.
    • UPI123Pay will benefit an estimated 40 crore feature phone users and enable them to undertake digital payments in a secure manner. This will bring non-smartphone users under the digital payment system.

Source: IE

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