Digital transactions, such as UPI payments or wallet payments, typically necessitate a stable internet connection in order to be completed. People who do not have access to the internet or smartphones can still transact using Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, Airtel Payments Bank, Amazon Pay, and other services. Users can make digital payments on various platforms by dialling ‘*99#,’ also known as the USSD service. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched the USSD service in November 2012, nearly four years before the UPI network. Since then, these two digital payment methods have been integrated, allowing users to conduct UPI transactions even when they do not have access to the internet.
Livemint decodes it so you can use the *99# service to make UPI payments without needing to connect to the internet.
Step 1: Those who need to transact digitally but do not have access to the internet or a smartphone must register on the BHIM app to create a UPI account. People must enter their correct phone number, which is associated with their bank account.
Step 2: Dial ‘*99#’ to access a numbered menu with seven options, including Send Money, Receive Money, Check Balance, My Profile, Pending Requests, Transactions, and UPI PIN.
Step 3: In the text field, type 1 to send money. You will be able to carry out a transaction using your UPI ID, bank account number and IFSC code, or phone number. Select your preferred method.
Step 4: If you select UPI, you must enter the recipient’s UPI ID. If you choose bank account, you must enter the beneficiary’s account number as well as the IFSC code. If you select the phone number option, you will be prompted to enter the recipient’s phone number.
Step 5: As with any other digital transaction platform, you must now enter the amount you wish to transfer.
Step 6: In the final step, enter your UPI PIN number. To complete the transaction, click’send.’ Once the transaction is completed, you will receive a confirmation on your phone. You will be asked to bookmark the beneficiary for future transactions. Be cautious, as using the service will only cost you $0.50.