UPI123Pay, a UPI (Unified Payments System) service built and designed for people with feature phones, has seen a great response from Indian users. The feature was launched to people of the country on March 8, 2022. Since then, more than 37,000 users have joined the platform. According to a PTI report, 21,833 successful transactions have also taken place since the launch.
The UPI123Pay service allows users to send money across to other people without the presence of an internet connection. So basically, feature phone users can send money to other people without the internet and without any other charges. It is completely free and allows the cashless economy to grow.
Until the launch of UPI123Pay, only users with an internet connection and smartphone could leverage the UPI platform for transacting online. But now, the same facility has been extended to feature phone users who don’t have access to a smartphone or an internet connection.
Government Planning to Take UPI Outside India Too
It is worth noting that the Indian government is planning to take UPI outside the country as well. The NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary company of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is committed to taking UPI outside India as well.
This would enable Indians travelling in foreign countries to make payments in a seamless manner without having to worry about cash.
At present, BHIM UPI has been accepted in Singapore, Bhutan, UAE (United Arab Emirates), and Nepal. But the overseas use of BHIM UPI has been slightly less for now because people are travelling less because of the pandemic.
The growth of the feature phone UPI system is a great sign for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), NPCI, and the government. However, the Indian Telecom operators would want these users to shift to a smartphone so that they can leverage the 4G and 5G networks in the future for digital connectivity.
The telecom industry wants to leave 2G behind but can’t do so because there are still many feature phone users in the market.