In this digital age, most of our lives depend heavily on the internet. This is especially true when it comes to matters of money transfers and other online payment methods such as Google Pay, Paytm, UPI, PhonePe and the list goes on. Now, what happens if you’re in the middle of a transaction and all of a sudden, your internet connection dies. Well, there is a solution for this as well, so no need to panic. To counteract the lack of an internet connection and still make that purchase or transaction go through all you need is your phone and a pre-registered bank account with some money in it.
The *99# service was introduced in India for all mobile phone users including non-smartphone users by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in November of 2012. For smartphone users, this *99# acts as an emergency feature that they can use if they do not have internet, for feature phone users, this is the sole method of conducting UPI transactions. When it was first launched, the service had limited reach and only two TSPs were offering the service, they were BSNL and MTNL. As the need for digital banking grew over the years so did the ambit of regulatory and trade bodies approving digital banking as a legitimate and necessary resource. As a result of this in August of 2014, it was taken under the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna scheme. It was only later in 2016 that the NCPI launched the UPI system. Having said that, here is how you can easily make UPI payments without an internet connection.
Step-by-Step Process to Conducting UPI Payments without the Internet
Before you do anything, you need to download the BHIM app and complete the one-time registration process. Following this, you will be able to do offline UPI transfers. You just need to make sure that you connect the right SIM card and phone number with your appropriate bank account and you are all set.
Step 1: Open the dial pad on your phone and type in (*99#). This will take you to a new menu that consists of seven options. The menus will list such options as ‘Send Money’, ‘Receive Money’, ‘Check Balance’, ‘My Profile’, ‘Pending Requests’, ‘Transactions’ and ‘UPI PIN’.
Step 2: What you need to do next is select the option ‘Send Money’ by pressing number 1 on your dial pad. This will then enable you to send money using just your phone number, UPI ID or your account number and IFSC code.
Step 3: Of the variety of payment methods, you need to choose one, if you choose the phone number option, then you need to enter the mobile number of the individual to whom you wish to send the money. If you select the UPI ID option, then you need to enter the other person’s UPI ID. The same applies to the bank account option, where you have to input the 11-digit IFSC code and then the beneficiary’s bank account number.
Step 4: Next, you need to enter the amount that you wish to transfer to the other person, similar to how you might have done it with Google Pay or Paytm.
Step 5: The last step requires you to input your own UPI Pin number which could be six or four digits long. Then you just need to press ‘send’. Once it gets transferred you will receive a transaction status update on your phone along with a reference ID. If it was a successful transaction you will be asked if you want to save this person as a beneficiary for future transactions.