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You can make digital payments without Internet - Know how

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which has developed key digital payments railroads such as the Unified Payments Interface, Fastag and Aadhaar Enabled Payment System, is now testing a voice-based payment service for the users of feature phones in low connectivity zones.

As per the latest report, while the new service will most likely be implemented using the interoperable UPI protocol, the feature phone users will not need a third-party app or a stable internet connection to complete the transactions.

Presently, it is going through beta testing and under the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India’s Regulatory Sandbox, the pilot program is being monitored by the bank. 

But sources say that following the completion of the first phase of testing, a larger rollout would be subject to RBI approval.  Also this system was developed by Bengaluru-based fintech Ubona Technologies, with a private sector bank now facilitating transactions on the backend according to the sources. 

With this implementation, the feature phone users would be able to conduct merchant payments as well as peer-to-peer transactions by simply generating an authentication PIN connected to their bank accounts, debit card and registered mobile phone number.

This is similar to the method used to generate the UPI PINs, as per the latest report claimed by NPCI. 

Further, the feature phone users will be able to produce authentication PINs through a common dial-in service, which may be operated by NPCI. 

Moving ahead, this PIN can be used in merchant points, and the account holder.

They can then use their feature phones to select the payment size and merchant details through a Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) system.

This would further assist the user through the two-factor authentication (2FA) flow in local languages. 

The DTMF system is a technology that allows callers to utilise keypads that correspond to the number of the menu choice to choose preferred selections on touch-tone phones.


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