What is UPI 123Pay? How to Send Payments Without Internet

RBI has launched a new UPI service with the help of which even consumers without a smartphone will be able to do digital transactions through UPI. Till now, UPI service could be used efficiently only on smartphones. But with the help of this new service called 123 Pay, now users can send UPI payments from their feature phones as well. This move of RBI is being considered as a revolutionary step in the world of digital payments.

UPI 123 Pay

Feature phones are those basic phones with keypads that have do not have a touchscreen display. They lack operating systems like iOS and Android, and have limited internet and multimedia features. As you may also know that most of the Indians still do not have a smartphone. The new UPI 123 Pay service will enable over 400 million feature phone users to make digital payments in a secure way.

If you also don’t have a smartphone or internet connection, you can still send money to your friends and family, pay at shops and do other digital transaction using the UPI 123Pay service. The facility of recharging the FASTag of vehicles, paying mobile bills, and checking your account balance are some other features that are available under this service. Let’s get into more details on how to use UPI 123 Pay.

What is UPI 123 Pay?

UPI 123Pay is a service launched by RBI to support UPI based digital payments without any internet and smartphone. Earlier, you would need to use UPI apps such as Google Pay, PhonePe, BHIM, or Paytm in order to send or receive money through UPI (short for Unified Payment Interface) system.

With the UPI 123Pay service, there is no need to use any of these apps and you can still do money transactions. Sometimes we don’t have internet connection and we need to pay at some shop immediately. In such a case, 123Pay will come to rescue you as this service allows you to transfer money without even internet connection.

Apart from digital payments, this service also offer many more features like gas cylinder booking, electricity bill payment, FASTag recharge, DTH recharge etc. For those who cannot afford a smartphone, UPI 123Pay is going to be very beneficial. There are around 118 crore users in India and out of these around 44 crore people have feature phones which shows that India has a large number of feature phone users.

Users can now perform a range of transactions based on four technical options available under UPI 123Pay service. These include calling IVR (Interactive Voice Response) number, using the app functionality available in the feature phones, missed call service and proximity voice-based UPI payments.

Benefits of UPI 123 Pay

We get to see many benefits of the new UPI 123Pay system. Here we have listed some of the salient features of this service –

  • You can pay from your bank account without internet connection and smartphone.
  • Reserve Bank of India says that UPI 123 is completely safe and secure to make digital payments.
  • You can check the balance of your UPI linked bank account and change your UPI PIN safely.
  • If you don’t have cash or paper money, you can use UPI 123Pay service to pay at shops.
  • There are 4 different ways to make UPI payments using 123Pay service.
  • You can transfer money using feature phones which don’t have a touchscreen display.
  • Apart from making payments, you can avail the benefits of mobile recharge, cylinder booking, electricity bill payment and FASTag recharge etc. from the comfort of your home.

How to use UPI 123 Pay

There are basically 4 ways you can use UPI 123Pay service for making digital payments. Before we start, make sure that your mobile number is linked with the bank account. If not, you can do it by visiting your nearest bank branch. Along with that, you should have a debit card of your bank account. If you do not have a debit card, then apply for it and get it ready by your side. Now let’s discuss the various methods that you can use to make UPI payments with the 123Pay service.

1. IVR calling method for UPI

IVR, short for Interactive Voice Response, is a computer operated phone call system which provides many facilities. It is interactive in a way that it allows users to choose options by voice recognition and keypad inputs.

IVR calling method for UPI 123Pay

If you have ever booked a gas cylinder or made a call to check your SIM balance, then you would know that an automated voice interact with us and ask us to follow certain steps during the call. That’s what IVR system is.

Likewise, the IVR number for UPI 123Pay has been issued by the Reserve Bank of India, by calling on which you can make digital payment to anyone. For this, you have to call on the number 08045163666. You will hear the sound of an automated system that will guide you to register for the service, make a payment and perform other tasks.

This step-by-step guide will show you how to send money through UPI 123PAY service using the IVR calling method –

  • First of all, call on 08045163666 IVR number from the mobile number which is linked with your bank account.
  • Now you will be asked to select your preferred language. There are two options available: 1. English and 2. Hindi. Enter the number from the keypad to choose any of your favourite language.
  • Choose 1 for sending money – You will listen the available options for the UPI 123Pay service. There are basically 5 options which are as follows: 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 go through the registration process for which you have select your bank, verify your mobile number and set up a 6-digit UPI PIN. Follow the instructions as provided by the automated voice command. You will need to remember the 6 digit PIN as you have to enter it every time you make a payment transaction.
  • Once the registration is done successfully, you have to choose the 1st option again for sending money.
  • After that, enter the mobile number of the user to whom you want to transfer your money. Confirm the details so as to make sure that you are sending your money to the right person.
  • Now you will be asked to enter the amount you want to transfer. After that, enter your 6-digit UPI PIN to confirm the transaction. Upon verification, the entered money will be sent to the recipient successfully.

Please note that you have to do the registration for one time only. There are some other services and options that you can explore from the menu when calling on the IVR number such as balance check, mobile recharge, NETC recharge, settings, and more.

2. UPI 123 Missed Call Service

Normally when we pay at a shop through UPI, there is a QR code which we have to scan and then we can make the payment. Since feature phones do not have cameras, this method cannot be used for them. In order to make the UPI transactions easy for feature phones, RBI has released a new method of missed call.

Make UPI payment with missed call

In this method, you will be provided a phone number by the shopkeeper on which you will have to make a missed call from your phone number which is registered with your bank account. After making a missed call, you will get an automated phone call from 08071 800 800 number.

You will asked to provide your payment related information such as the amount of money you want to transfer. Lastly, you have to enter your 6-digit UPI PIN. Your payment will be successful once the PIN is verified. This method of UPI 123Pay is very simple and fast like the traditional way of sending money through UPI apps.

3. UPI 123 Pay app method

UPI 123 Pay app for feature phones

There are already plenty of UPI apps available for Android and iOS based smartphones like Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe, BHIM, etc. A new UPI app is being developed by Gupshup and Airtel Payments Bank for feature phones. This app will come pre-installed on the device and it will allow users to send and receive money, check bank balance, and offer other UPI functionalities. Although, it will have certain limitations like the unavailability of scanning QR codes which is possible with the UPI apps for smartphones.

4. Proximity voice-based UPI

Proximity sound-based payment is a new method by which you can pay anyone with sound waves. This is a new technology which allows you to make contactless and offline payments from any phone. You just have to call 6366 200 200 number and choose Pay to Merchant option.

Proximity sound based UPI payment

After that, you have to tap your phone on the RetailPod (which is basically a device that will be provided to you by the merchant) and then press # button on the keypad as the RetailPod plays a sound. Next, you will be asked to enter the amount you want to pay, followed by providing your 6-digit UPI PIN to confirm the transaction.

Being a new technology, not much information is available about the proximity sound-based payment method and that’s the reason why this method is not popular till now.

Frequently asked questions

How to download UPI 123Pay app?

Reserve Bank of India has not yet released any official app for UPI 123Pay service so its download link cannot be provided at present. As for feature phones, the app will come pre-installed from the manufacturer side. The other methods of UPI 123Pay doesn’t require you to install any application so you can use without that directly.

How to get help for UPI 123Pay service?

RBI has started a helpline for people using UPI payment system. This helpline has been named Digisathi. If you need any assistance or help, you can visit digishathi.com website or call on the toll free numbers 14431 and 1800 891 3333. This helpline has been prepared by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

What is the amount limit for UPI 123Pay?

The feature phone user can send a maximum amount of Rs 2000 through the existing USSD system based on UPI. However, the RBI has not disclosed the amount limit for digital payments without internet under the new UPI 123Pay service.

Is UPI 123Pay safe for sending money?

Yes, it is absolutely safe to use UPI 123Pay for sending money and using other services. This feature has been launched as an initiative from the Reserve Bank of India so it is safe to trust it. Rest you have to keep all basic security measures in your mind like not sharing your UPI PIN with anyone, OTP and other bank details.

Digital payments made simple with UPI 123 Pay

Digital payments have come a long way from the old tradition methods of NEFT and wire transfer, which used to take hours and days of processing, to the new UPI system which allows you to send money in real-time. RBI and NPCI has always been keen to make the UPI payment system more efficient and accessible to general public.

This thing has been proved with the launch of UPI 123Pay service. The main target of this service is to provide ease of payment to feature phone users mainly. Sometimes smartphone users are also incapable of sending money to someone due to due to internet data and network connection issues. UPI 123Pay service will also prove to be beneficial for such users.

Now you have so many options to make digital payments so if one doesn’t work, you can always try the others. Let us know which one of them you find the most easiest and convenient. We have tried our best to explain everything about UPI 123Pay service. If something is left to discuss, let us know in the comments below. Your valuable feedback and shares will be appreciated. Stay tuned for more latest updates and guides.

About the author

Vivek Chaudhary Author
Tech writer & founder @Geek Instructor • Vivek Chaudhary is an experienced tech blogger who has been writing about technology for more than ten years. He's written over 1500 articles covering various tech topics. Vivek is passionate about sharing his expertise to help others. Beyond the digital realm, he enjoys traveling and creating videos on YouTube.

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