The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is reportedly testing a voice-based payments service for feature phone users in low connectivity zones.
The service is likely to be rolled out on top of the interoperable UPI protocol. The key differentiator would be that the feature phone users won’t need a third-party app or stable internet connection to complete their transactions.
The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) payments project is currently in beta-testing mode. Further, the Reserve Bank of India is reportedly monitoring the pilot as per provisions laid under the central bank’s Regulatory Sandbox (RS). A larger rollout would be subject to approvals from RBI after the culmination of the first phase of testing. The service will allow users of feature phones to make merchant payments as well as peer-to-peer (p2p) transactions by simply generating an authentication PIN linked to their bank account and debit card as well as the registered mobile number.