RBI launches 123Pay service for UPI payments on feature phones


  • RBI has launched a UPI service for feature phones
  • It will benefit people living in rural areas and also using feature phones
  • The service offers four technologies to make UPI payment

123Pay UPI service has been launched in India today by the Reserve Bank of India. It has been announced for low-cost feature phones. Since the rollout of the unified payment interface (UPI) in 2016, the payment platform has remained confined to smartphones. 

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The 123Pay service on feature phones will enable users to make digital payments securely. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the new service will alone help 40 crore feature phone users in India to access the payment service. Alongside the UPI service, RBI also announced DigiSaathi, a 24×7 helpline for digital payments. 

123Pay UPI service for feature phones launched


The 123Pay payment service is said to work on phones that lack internet connectivity. It utilises four technologies to enable more options for UPI payments through feature phones. These include Interactive Voice Response or IVR, apps in feature phones, missed call based payments, and proximity sound-based payments. 

With IVR, users can make a transaction securely by calling the number provided by NPCI. If a user wants to make payments through app, the 123Pay service will offer all UPI features to feature phones except the ‘scan and pay’ option found on smartphones. RBI said that it is working to make the feature available soon. As for the missed-call based system, users can give a missed call and receive a call back to make the payment. Lastly, users can make transactions based on sound waves for contactless payments to other phones. 

It’s worth noting that to make a UPI transaction using the 123Pay service, users need to link their bank accounts with feature phones. The service will be available in Hindi and English. With the new service, users can pay utility bills, mobile bills, check account balances as well as make payments to their friends and family. 

Viraj Gawde

Viraj loves being in the creative field. Being a tech guy and resident tech advisor for his friends and family, his interest lies in smartphones, laptops and cameras. Passionate about creating art, his forte lies in photography. In his downtime, he loves gaming on his self-built rig and supporting FC Barcelona.