RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, on Wednesday, launched new UPI features, developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The product offerings include Credit Line on UPI; UPI Lite X; Tap & Pay; Hello! UPI; and BillPay Connect.

The central bank had, on Monday, announced credit lines on UPI to increase access to credit, and promote financial inclusion and innovation through pre-sanctioned credit lines from banks via UPI.

The initiative has features such as linkage of pre-sanctioned credit lines, creation of digital credit products by banks, establishment of interest-free credit periods and corresponding interest rates, defined schedule of charges, customer engagement channels for credit sanction requests, and the ability to link various pre-sanctioned credit lines via UPI-enabled apps for transactions, NPCI said.

Offline payments

NPCI also launched ‘UPI Lite X’ for offline payments at the Global Fintech Fest 2023, building on the UPI Lite feature, which was launched last year. Users can both send and receive money offline through any compatible device that supports Near Field Communication (NFC).

Along the same lines, with a view to enhance adoption of QR code and NFC technology, NPCI introduced ‘UPI Tap & Pay’, which will allow customers to tap NFC-enabled QR codes to make payments at merchant locations.

Conversational payments

The other big announcement was the launch of conversational UPI and bill payments. ‘Hello! UPI’ the feature for conversational payments on UPI will facilitate voice-enabled payments via UPI applications, telephone calls and IoT devices.

Currently available in Hindi and English, the feature will soon be made available in other regional languages. Users can give voice commands to transfer funds and input UPI PIN to complete the transaction.

The ‘BillPay Connect’ feature for conversational bill payments has been introduced by NPCI’s subsidiary Bharat BillPay which will create a nationalsed number for bill payments across India and enable users to fetch and pay their bills by sending a ‘Hi’ on the messaging application.

Customers without smartphones or immediate mobile data access will be able to pay bills by giving a missed call, wherein they will receive a call back for verification and payment authorization. In addition, it will offer voice-assisted bill payments facility, and bill payments at physical collection centers through payment soundbox devices.