UPI payments, which are usually associated with digital transactions, generally require a stable Internet connection to execute payments or receipts. But, people can still transact without the Internet and a smartphone via Paytm, Google Pay, BharatPe, Amazon Pay, PhonePe, Airtel Payments Bank, and others.
Not many know about this helpful hack using a service to make UPI payments without the Internet. All you need is your phone and an active bank account to carry out the transactions.
Also Read: Propelled by UPI and QRs, mobile phone transactions see major boost in India: Worldline report
Let's decode this:
Non-Internet users, who also don't have smartphones, can also carry out UPI payments to transact of several platforms.
For this, they need to dial '*99#', also called the USSD service. The service was unveiled in India for all mobile users comprising non-smartphone users by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in November 2021, around four years before it launched the UPI network.
The '*99#' service had a limited reach initially and only two telecom service providers (TSPs) - BSNL and MTNL - were offering this service. In August 2016, NPCI integrated the two digital payment methods (UPI and *99#), allowing users to send and receive money using a UPI ID or payment address.
Also Read: UPI payments without Internet? Here's what RBI says
How to use *99# on your mobile:
- You first register yourself on the BHIM app to create a UPI account and get the one-time registration done.
- Enter your correct phone number linked to a bank account.
- Open the dial pad on your mobile phone and type '*99#'. This will redirect you to a new menu comprising seven options such as 'My Profile', 'Send Money', 'Receive Money', 'Pending Requests', 'Check Balance', 'UPI PIN', and 'Transactions'.
- Next, select the option 'Send Money' by pressing number 1 in the text field on your dial pad. This will then allow you to send money using either your bank account number, UPI ID, and IFSC code or phone number. Choose the option of your choice.
- In case you select UPI, then you will need to enter the beneficiary's UPI ID, whereas if you go for the phone number option, you will have to enter the mobile number of the person you are sending the money to. If you select the bank account option, you will need to input the 11-digit IFSC code and the recipient's bank account number.
- Next, you will need to enter the amount you want to transfer to the other person, similar to any other digital transaction platform such as Google Pay or Paytm.
- In the last step, enter your UPI PIN number. Select 'send' to complete the transaction. Once the money is transferred, you will get a confirmation on your phone along with a reference ID. You will then be asked to save the recipient as a beneficiary for future transactions. Using the service will cost you a meagre fee of Rs 0.50.