The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently announced UPI 123Pay, collectively adding thousands of feature phones into the digital payment system. The UPI (Unified Payment System) for feature phones, can facilitate payments without the need for any active internet connection. 

With the advent of UPI’s launch back in 2016, it has grown exponentially over the past few years. Not to mention, in 2021 alone, UPI crossed 38 billion transactions with a total of ₹71.59 trillion. Although UPI still has a lot more to catch up with, especially in the remote parts of India.

With the launch of UPI 123Pay, it can connect to 400 million feature phones, which were completely detached from the digital payment before. That is why in this article we are going to discuss everything there is to know about UPI 123Pay and how you can access it on your feature phone?

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What is UPI 123Pay? 

In Layman’s terms, UPI 123Pay facilitates individuals to make financial transactions such as sending money using their feature phone. UPI 123Pay doesn’t require an internet connection to send or receive money. 

Users can execute any UPI transactions in an easy three-step method. According to the current RBI governor Shaktikanta Das, “UPI 123Pay is all about empowering the masses. Furthermore, it brings digital experiences to feature phones.”

How to Use UPI 123Pay without Internet? 

You can operate 123Pay without any internet connection in just a few simple steps. Payments can be facilitated using Interactive Voice Response (IVR), app functionality for selected feature phones, missed calls, and proximity sound-based payments. In this section, we will be discussing, how to use 123Pay with IVR on your phone. 

Step 1: First, call 08045163666 on your phone. 

Step 2: Now select your preferred language by pressing the corresponding key. 

Step 3: To transfer money, press ‘1’.

Step 4: Follow the IVR instructions to select your bank account. 

Step 5: As mentioned, press the corresponding key to confirm your choice. 

Step 6: Press ‘1’ again to continue with the payment. 

Step 7: Enter your phone number. 

Step 8: Press the corresponding key to confirm your phone number. 

Step 9: Enter the amount you want to send. 

Step 10: At last, enter your UPI PIN to complete your transaction process. 

Salient Features of UPI 123Pay

Using the UPI 123Pay, users don’t require any internet connection, or even a smartphone to make payments. Users can link their bank accounts to the feature phone using their debit card details to avail of UPI services. As stated above, users can make payments in four different methods. These includes: 

1. Interactive Voice Response (IVR): This is the method we showed in the previous section. Through IVR, users can initiate a secured call on their feature phone to a predetermined number. Once the UPI PIN is verified, it can facilitate transactions without the need for any internet connection. 

2. UPI 123Pay App: Users can find the UPI 123Pay app. It’s predominantly present in some selected feature phones, This app will comprise all the UPI functionalities excluding scan and pay. In order words, users can use the app just like any regular payment app on their smartphone. 

3. Missed Call: Consider this the alternative to scanning the merchant’s QR code. Users can easily send money or pay bills by initiating a simple missed call. For instance, in order to pay to the grocery store, the user needs to give a missed call to the number given on the merchant’s outlet. After that, the user will receive a call to authenticate the transaction using their UPI PIN. 

4. Proximity Sound-Based Payment: According to RBI, it is a completely new concept that makes use of sound waves for contactless, online, promised-based data communication. The overall effectiveness of this method can only be tested once it starts to roll out. 

Where Can You Use UPI 123Pay? 

Users can make merchant paymentstransfer moneyrecharge mobile numbers, even refill LPG gas connections, and more with UPI 123Pay. Furthermore, users can also check their account balance which is directly linked to the UPI. 

Down below is a video demo by NCPI on the use of UPI 123Pay services: 

According to RBI, The UPI 123Pay is a movement to bring forth the entire country towards digital adaptation. Instead of being confined to smartphone users, it can expand its horizons to the rural parts of India. 

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The Bottom Line 

This goes without saying, the scope for UPI 123Pay is almost limitless. Except for QR code transactions, the UPI 123Pay is capable of facilitating just about anything. Not to mention, it is a great initiative taken by the Indian Government to bring forth digital payment on feature phones.

To learn more, visit the “” website or call on the toll-free helpline number 1800-891-3333 or 14431. So, let us know in the comment section below, are you going to use your feature phone for UPI transactions?  


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