(Last Updated On: March 12, 2022)


The Reserve Bank of India RBI with UPI has launched two initiatives related to digital payments. One is UPI123pay – which provides the facility of UPI payments on feature phones and the other is “Digi Sathi” which is a 24×7 helpline for digital payments.

UPI123pay for feature phones and DigiSaathi 2022

What is Unified Payments Interface (UPI)?

  • It is an enhanced version of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) – round the clock fund transfer service to make cashless payments faster, easier and easier.
  • UPI is a system that powers to merge multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), multiple banking features, seamless fund routing and merchant payments under one hood.
  • UPI is currently the largest among the National Payment 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. e.t.c.
  • Today’s top UPI apps include Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, Amazon Pay and BHIM, the latter being a government offering.

What is UPI 123 Pay?

About this:

  • It will work on ordinary phones which do not have internet connection.
  • As of now, the UPI feature is available only on most smartphones.
  • The UPI service for feature phones will take advantage of RBI’s regulatory sandbox on retail payments.
  • A regulatory sandbox usually refers to live testing of new products or services in a controlled/testing regulatory environment for which regulators may allow certain regulatory exemptions for the limited purpose of testing.
  • The UPI service will enable digital transactions in UPI applications through a mechanism of ‘on-device’ wallets.”
  • Users will be able to make multiple transactions based on four technology options, including IVR (Interactive Voice Response) numbers, missed call-based approach, app functionality in feature phones and proximity voice-based payments.

The profit:

  • The new service for feature phones will enable individuals to pay directly to others without a smartphone and internet.
  • Users can initiate payments to friends and family, pay utility bills, recharge FASTag of their vehicles, pay mobile bills and also allow users to check account balances can give.
  • This will allow customers to use the feature phone for almost all transactions except scans and payments.
  • UPI123Pay will benefit an estimated 400 million feature phone users and enable them to make digital payments in a secure manner. It will bring non-smartphone users under the digital payment system

The details of the two initiatives are given below:

1. UPI123Pay – UPI payment facility on feature phones

UPI123pay will provide the users of feature phones with the option of using Unified Interface Payments (UPI) to make payments. To this end, UPI123 Pay currently offers four modes/options for making UPI payments to feature phone users. The name UPI123pay signifies that UPI payment can be done in three easy steps i.e. 1. Call 2. Select and 3. Make Payment. Currently the option available to feature phone users for digital payments is of USSD which is a bit cumbersome and not popular. . The launch of UPI123Pay will improve the payment ecosystem for over 400 million feature phone users in India.

  • App-based Functionality
  • Missed Call
  • Inter-active Voice Response
  • Proximity Sound-based Payments

These four options are given below in detail:

  • App-based functionality- An app will be installed on the feature phone through which many of the UPI functions available on the smartphone will be available on the feature phone as well.
  • Missed Call: Under this facility, feature phone users can make payment at the merchant outlet by giving a missed call to the number displayed at the merchant outlet. The customer will receive an incoming call to authenticate the transaction by entering the UPI PIN. Users can also access their bank account and do regular transactions like receiving, transferring money, regular shopping, bill payments etc. by giving missed calls.
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR): UPI payment through pre-defined IVR numbers will require users to initiate a secure call from their feature phone to a predetermined number and complete the UPI on-boarding formalities so that To be able to initiate financial transactions without internet. connection.
  • Proximity Voice-Based Payment: It uses sound waves to enable contactless, offline and proximity data communication on any device.
  •  This uses sound waves to enable contactless, offline, and proximity data communication on any device.

2. “DigiSaathi”- 24×7 Helpline for Digital Payments

  • The service will provide users with automated feedback on information related to digital payment products and services.
  • Currently it is available in English and Hindi language.
  • Users can access Digi Saathi through any of the following means:
  1. toll-free number (1800-891-3333),
  2. a short code (14431),
  3. website – http://www.digisaathi.info, and chatbots.

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