IDEMIA, Airtel Payments Bank, HMD Global to Enable Digital Rupee on Feature Phones

IDEMIA, Airtel Payments Bank, and HMD Global have partnered to make digital Rupee payments possible on feature phones in India.


  • IDEMIA, Airtel Payments Bank, and HMD Global partner to introduce offline CBDC payments on feature phones in India.
  • Secure offline transactions will enable users to access digital Rupee and other CBDC solutions.
  • The collaboration aims to bridge the digital divide and extend financial services to all.

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IDEMIA, Airtel Payments Bank, and HMD Global to Bring Digital Rupee Application to Feature Phones
IDEMIA, a global identity technologies and biometric solutions provider, has partnered with Airtel Payments Bank of Bharti Airtel and HMD Global, the home of Nokia Phones, to extend the reach of offline Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) payments in India.

Also Read: Airtel Payments Bank Becomes First Indian Bank to Launch Eco-Friendly Debit Card

Offline CBDC Payments

According to the statement, IDEMIA, Airtel Payments Bank, and HMD Global will jointly work together over the next few months to introduce an advanced offline payment system that allows the use of the digital Rupee (CBDC issued by the Reserve Bank of India) on feature phones, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the industry.

"This partnership will work towards further strengthening financial inclusion and digital payments, to make it possible to pay in digital currency even without having a smartphone or being connected to the internet, either temporarily or because of coverage limitations," said the joint statement.

Also Read: Airtel Payments Bank Surpasses Rs 400 Crore Quarterly Revenue Mark

Addressing Smartphone Gaps

Despite the growing popularity of smartphones, a significant portion of India's population still lacks access to these devices. This collaboration aims to overcome this limitation, especially in areas with limited connectivity.

Secure Offline Transactions

IDEMIA said its technology will provide a secure offline layer, enabling instant transactions without requiring online validation. It will be compatible with the digital Rupee in India, and with any other solution, decentralized or centralized, token or account based, developed in-house by a central bank or independent software vendors.

Financial Inclusion

The collaboration brings together IDEMIA's CBDC technology, Airtel Payments Bank's financial solutions, and Nokia feature phones with the goal of advancing financial inclusion. Once launched, this solution will enable cost-effective feature phones to perform offline transactions, expanding financial access, said the joint statement on Wednesday.

Also Read: Airtel Payments Bank Now Offers Comprehensive Health Insurance on Airtel Thanks App

Government Vision

The collaboration is reportedly said to align with the Indian government's vision of creating an inclusive digital economy accessible to all. As India's journey towards digital payments continues, IDEMIA, Nokia feature phones, and Airtel Payments Bank said the partners are committed to unlocking financial inclusion through offline payments.

The end goal is to make the digital Rupee accessible to everyone, regardless of connectivity constraints, furthering India's transition towards a digitally inclusive economy.

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Telecom Analyst

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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