The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday announced the launch of a unique feature for payments with a facility where those with feature phones could also use the UPI platform, pointing to further adoption of digital transactions in the countryside where the majority of the citizens still don’t own smartphones.

The feature called UPI123Pay will offer payments through IVR Number, app functionality in feature phones, missed call-based transactions and sound-based payments. The Central bank also announced the rollout of a 24×7 helpline for digital payments called DigiSaathi.

According to the RBI, UPI123Pay will help achieve financial inclusion goals.

“UPI123Pay makes facilities under UPI accessible to that section of society that was so far excluded from the digital payment landscape,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said at the launch. “This current decade will witness a transformative shift in the digital payments ecosystem in the country.”

Meanwhile, the ‘DigiSaathi’- 24×7 Helpline set up by the National Payments Corporation of India will assist users with all their queries on digital payments via website & chatbot facility. The helpline will help customers in addressing their queries related to multiple products and services under the payments system umbrella.

The RBI has taken more than 50 initiatives to strengthen the digital payments ecosystem over the past three years, he said. It has been encouraging innovation via regulatory sandbox, hackathon and other measures and the initiative launched today will further accelerate digital adoption, he said.

“We still have some distance to cover and the effort is to achieve even more in digital payments,” Das said.

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