DigiSaathi, a 24-hour hotline for digital payments and UPI for 40 million feature phone users. The number of UPI transactions is expected to soon exceed Rs 100 lakh crores. He also emphasised the need for cybersecurity, stating that systems should be ready for such dangers. The RBI Governor unveiled UPI 123Pay, an application that allows those without cellphones or living in remote regions to make payments using the UPI platform. A 24-hour helpdesk for digital payments was also launched. He further stated that the two significant projects introduced reflected two different and crucial facets of their payments ecosystem. The RBI had hinted at the implementation of the facility during its monetary policy review meeting in December last year. Several UPI solutions for feature phone payments have been deployed as part of the project, such as the missed call-based method, UPI payment through IVR number, proximity sound-based payments, and application capability on feature phones. With these features, feature phone users will be able to undertake a variety of financial and non-financial activities, such as NETC FASTag recharge, mobile recharges, and bills, including P2P payments and utility bill payments, as well as link a bank account and create a UPI PIN. However, DigiSaathi will support callers with all digital payment-related questions through its chatbot and website.

According to T. Rabi Sankar, Deputy Governor of RBI, digital payments have been significant growth. However, a large portion of this digitisation has gone to people who own smartphones, and UPI transactions are likely limited to the approximately 40 crore people who own feature phones. If we are to proceed to the next level of development, we will need to consider how UPI will be accessible on feature phones and through offline means, he stated. Since its beginning, digital payment transactions have surged fivefold, from 4 crores to 23 crores.

As per Biswamohan Mahapatra, non-executive Chairman, National Payments Corporation of India, as many as 40.49 billion transactions valued at Rs.74.51 trillion have already been carried out via the UPI this fiscal, which is almost double the transaction volume as compared to last fiscal and demonstrates rising usage of digital payments such as UPI. He added that the service would also help the RBI achieve its goal of a less-cash economy.

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-Adv. Sabrina Bath
(Content Writer, WCSF)

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