Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

123Pay Explained: RBI Opens up UPI for Feature Phones, No Internet Needed

The new digital payment mode will allow users of India's 400 million feature phones to access the payment service, said RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das
March 9, 2022

Unified payment interface (UPI) has become the most popular payment method for daily transactions in India after cash and on Tuesday to make the service more accessible, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das launched a new digital payment mode called 123Pay which, he said, will allow users of India’s 400 million feature phones to access the payment service.

This process will make the small-value transactions simpler than ever “through a mechanism of ‘on-device’ wallet in UPI applications.”

What are feature phones?

Feature phones are basic phones, which typically provide voice calling and text messaging functionalities. India has a mobile phone consumer base of about 118 crores, of which about 74 crores have smartphones, indicating that there is a significant number of feature phone users in the country.

Feature phone payment methods


Under IVR, i.e., Interactive Voice Response, the user will get the facility to make payment by calling a specific number. This number will be provided by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).


Under this, an app will be installed in the feature phone for UPI payment. All types of transactions can be done from this app except scan and payment feature.


Feature phone users will be able to make proximity voice-based payments. It uses sound waves to enable contactless, offline and proximity data communication on any device.

Missed call

In this feature phone, user has to give a missed call to the number of the payee. After this, one calls back for payment. The payer has to verify the UPI PIN on this call.

How to use UPI 123Pay Without Internet?

IVR is the easiest way to make payment through UPI 123Pay.

Step 1

First, you have to call on 08045163666.

Step 2

Second, you must select the language.

Step 3

Third, to transfer money, key ‘1’ has to be tapped.

Step 4

After this, by saying the name of the bank, the bank paired with UPI will have to be selected.

Step 5

After this, to confirm the details, you have to tap on key 1.

Step 6

To send money through your mobile number, tap on key 1.

Step 7

You now have to enter the mobile number and confirm the details.

Step 8

Now, enter the amount.

Step 9

The money transfer has to be authorised by entering the UPI PIN.

Other facilities available though 123PAY

Feature phone users will also have access to several feature phone-based payment solutions such as IVR-based payment solutions, app-based payments on feature phones, missed call pay and payments on voice-based devices using voice-based technology. Through these, users can easily make digital payments. You can also make app-based payments on feature phones or make payment by miss-calling the given number using a miss-call payment facility. You can also pay through voice-based technology by tapping your feature phone on the sound-based device.


RBI has also launched the problem resolution system DigiSathi on Tuesday. Users can contact Digisathi for any solution or information related to their digital payments. For this, users will have to call on 1441 or 18008913333.

Going forward, the RBI will add to this list of modules, said the central bank.

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said, UPI has played a major role in the adoption of digital payments in India, recording about 4.53 billion transactions worth 8.26 trillion in February 2022, almost double compared to last year. In FY21, the total value of UPI transactions was 41 trillion.