Das said that at present, the multi-faceted features of UPI are mainly only available on smartphones, which prevents people from the lower echelon of society from an economic point of view, especially in rural areas, to access the popular service, even if the smartphone prices drop.
He said UPI volumes have touched Rs 76 lakh crore so far in FY22 from Rs 41 lakh crore in FY21 so far, and added that the day is not far off when aggregate volumes will reach Rs 100 lakh crore.
An estimated 40 million mobile phone users own feature phones.
Currently, UPI services are available to such users through USSD-based services, but this has proven cumbersome and not all mobile carriers allow such services, the Deputy Governor said. T Rabi Shankar.
Feature phone users will now be able to perform a multitude 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.
These users can initiate payments to friends and family, pay utility bills, recharge their vehicles’ FAST tags, pay mobile bills and also allow users to check account balances, he said. said, adding that customers will also be able to link bank accounts, set or change UPI PINs.
A 24/7 hotline for digital payments was also launched by Das on Tuesday, which was also set up by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
The helpline dubbed “Digisaathi” will assist callers/users with all their queries about digital payments through the website and chatbot.
Users can visit www.digisaathi.info or call 14431 and 1800 891 3333 from their phone for questions about digital payments and complaints.