Does it ever happened that you need to send a payment to someone or pay at a shop and suddenly your internet stopped working and you could make the payment? We all have face this situation several times. In today’s time, digital payments have become so mainstream that most people don’t carry cash or paper currency with them now and that’s when the problem gets more serious.
There is no doubt in the fact that UPI (Unified Payment Interface) has completely revolutionised the banking and payment system in India by providing ease of sending and receiving money in real-time, however, the downside of using UPI is that it doesn’t work offline. You will need an internet connection on your phone to use UPI apps for making payment transactions.
If you feel helpless when your phone doesn’t have network connection or internet data and you couldn’t send money to someone, you don’t need to feel like this again after reading this article. Here we are going to share two simple methods that will allow you to make UPI payments without internet. These methods include using the *99# service and the new UPI 123Pay service. Let’s get into more details now!
What is *99# service for offline UPI payment
*99# service is an offline payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) which provides you banking facilities on your mobile phone without internet connection and without using any UPI apps. This service is operated through USSD (short for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) channel.
*99# is a collective collaboration of various banks and TSPs (Telecom Service Providers) to seamlessly integrate with each other and provide offline banking facilities. Banking customers can avail this service by dialing *99# USSD code on their mobile phones. An interactive menu will displayed on your screen where you can select options by typing through the keypads on your phone.
The major services provided under the *99# service range from interbank account to fund transfer, balance enquiry, and mini statement among others. *99# service is currently offered by 55 leading banks and almost all GSM service providers. It can be accessed in various Indian languages including Hindi and English.
Key features of *99# mobile service
- You don’t need data/internet to send or receive money through UPI payment.
- Provides basic banking facilities like checking account balance, sending or requesting money, changing UPI PIN, and more.
- Provides value added services like checking Aadhaar card overdraft status and PMJDY account overdraft status.
- Works without internet – 24×7 availability including holidays too.
- Easily accessible through a common USSD code *99# across all TSPs.
- Works on all GSM service providers and mobile handsets.
- Available in 13 different languages including English and Hindi.
- Offered by 89 leading banks across the country.
- Don’t require you to install any UPI app – Works on feature phones as well.
Services available under *99#
The *99# offline payment service can be used by the customers for the following purposes:
- Value Added Services (VAS)
Financial services include sending and requesting money. There are various ways you can do the payment transfer i.e. using mobile number, UPI ID, and account no. + IFSC. The same way you can request money from someone by using the UPI ID or mobile number of the person. On the other hand, the non-financial services include checking your bank account balance, setting up or changing UPI PIN, and viewing your last 5 transactions history.
How to register for *99# service
- Dial *99# from the phone number which is registered with your bank account.
- You will get a pop up to select your bank. Enter your bank name and then select your bank account from the list.
- Now you have to provide the last 6 digit of your debit card to set up a UPI PIN.
- Next, enter the expiry date of debit card in mm/yy format, for example, 04/12.
- At last, you have to enter a 6-digit UPI PIN for your bank account. This UPI PIN will be used to authenticate your payment transactions.
- Once the UPI PIN is set and you have completed the registration process, you can dial *99# again and see all actions that you can now do.
Send money without internet using *99#
- Open the Phone app on your smartphone and dial *99#.
- Choose 1 for sending money – On the main menu screen, you will see 7 options which are as follows: 1. Send Money 2. Request Money 3. Check Balance 4. My Profile 5. Pending Requests 6. Transactions 7. UPI PIN. Type 1 on the keypad to choose Send Money option.
- Choose 1 for mobile number method – Now you will be asked to choose the payment method you want to use for transferring the money. There are 4 option available: 1. Mobile no. 3. UPI ID 5. Saved Beneficiary 6. IFSC, A/C No.
You just to enter the option number through the keypad input to choose whichever payment method you want to use. For example, if you want to send money through mobile number, then type 1.
- Enter the mobile number – Simply type the phone number of the recipient to whom you want to send your money.
- Enter the amount – You will see the name of the recipient whose mobile number you have provided. Make sure to check the name to confirm that you are transferring your money to the right person. After that, enter the amount and press the send button. In the next step, you can also add a remark for your payment. If you want to skip it, simply type 1.
- Enter your UPI PIN – In order to authenticate your payment, you will be asked to enter your 6-digit UPI PIN. After entering that, the requested amount of money will be transferred to the recipient within no time. The same amount will be debited from your bank account instantly and you will also get the payment confirmation message on your phone.
The whole process of sending money through *99# UPI service is quite similar to the method what we follow on the UPI apps. The additional advantage of this method is that it doesn’t require you to use an app and works even if you don’t have an internet connection.
Use IVR calling to send money without internet
The Reserve Bank of India has recently launched a new UPI payment service called UPI 123Pay for feature phones which offer various banking facilities like sending money without internet, checking your account balance, changing your UPI PIN, etc. There are 4 options available under this service, one of the which is this IVR calling method.
IVR (short for Interactive Voice Response) is a computer operated calling system that is made to provide a specific service to the consumers. For example, if you have ever called the customer care support of your network, you are welcomed with an IVR calling system that guides you to follow certain steps to reach the customer care line.
UPI 123Pay is a similar type of service offered by the Reserve Bank of India by calling on which you can send money to your friends, pay at shops, and avail other banking facilities. This step-by-step guide will show you how to use the IVR calling method of UPI 123Pay service to make digital payments without internet connection –
- Call on 08045163666 IVR number from the mobile number which is linked with your bank account.
- Select your preferred language – There are two languages available. Type 1 for English and 2 for Hindi.
- Choose 1 for sending money – The IVR system will tell the options available in the main menu. There are basically 5 options: 1. Money Transfer 2. Balance Check 3. Mobile Recharge 4. NETC Recharge and # Settings.
- Register for UPI 123Pay – If you are using this service for the first time, you will be asked to register your account for which you have select your bank, verify your mobile number and set up a 6-digit UPI PIN.
- Choose 1st option again for sending money. Once the registration is done, you will again be asked to select the option from the main menu.
- Enter the mobile number – Just type the number of the user to whom you want to send your money.
- Enter the amount you want to transfer.
- Enter your 6-digit UPI PIN to confirm the transaction. That’s it! Your payment will be successfully done after this.
Ever since the Digital India initiative was launched by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, the Reserve Bank of India has always worked on this goal to take banking facilities to the last mile. Digital payments have taken a revolutionary turn with the launch of *99# and UPI 123pay services by NPCI.
There are still many people in India who don’t have smartphones and internet connectivity. Even those people will be able to avail the benefits of UPI payments with these services. If you ever face any problem while sending money through UPI apps because of network connection or internet data issues, you can use these alternative methods to send your payment.
So that’s almost everything you need to know about this tutorial. We hope you learned something new today. If you have any questions in your mind, feel free to share them in the comments below. As very few people know about *99# and UPI 123Pay services, so it will be good for your friends if you share this article with them and let them also know these secret ways to send money through UPI without internet.