UPI’s Entry Into Feature Phones Could Be Its Biggest Step Yet.

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UPI, NPCI’s flagship product, has expanded internationally, but feature phone compatibility may be more crucial to its success.

Over the last five years, India’s digital economy has exploded, and nothing has been more crucial to its success than UPI, a key component of the so-called India Stack. NPCI’s flagship product has expanded internationally in recent years, but feature phone support for UPI, which was announced this week, may be more important to UPI’s growth story, as well as financial inclusion and digital penetration.

upi in feature phone

We discuss these and other events from the previous week. For starters, here are two tales:

  • Deepinder Goyal stated there was no conflict of interest between his and Zomato’s investment in Shiprocket in his statement. Is that, however, the whole picture?
  • On Wings, 5G! Jio has successfully tested its 5G-enabled drone network, which will be utilized for a variety of commercial and public-service applications.

UPI Receives a Boost
UPI, which was launched in 2016, has not only spread deep into India thanks to its ease of use and certain app interoperability. The next stage is to go beyond smartphone users to include users of less sophisticated feature phones.

UPI Transactions Exceed $100 Billion for the First Time: According to the most recent NPCI data for November 2021, UPI transactions exceeded $100 billion for the first time. In November, there were 418 Cr transactions worth INR 7.68 Lakh Cr (about $102.4 Bn), which is somewhat less than the 421 Cr transactions in October 2021.

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.The addition of feature phone compatibility will undoubtedly improve UPI metrics. According to TRAI data, there are over 300 million feature phone users in India who would be able to use UPI-based services once the service is launched.

More crucially, it would not only increase financial inclusion among non-smartphone users, but it will also enable startups to recruit new users over time and push UPI to new heights.

While more information on feature phone compatibility for UPI is expected, the RBI has stated that complementary solutions such as UPI-based wallets and payments on feature phones will be available. According to the RBI, half of all UPI transactions were for less than INR 200, based on transaction data analysis.

The wallet is designed to promote acceptance and success rates of low-value UPI transactions that would otherwise consume network resources.

Deadline for Transaction Shares While the availability of UPI on feature phones would surely boost the most widely used digital payment mechanism in India, there is one concern on the horizon.

The deadline for NPCI’s transaction share cap for third-party app providers (TPAP) is less than a year away. Under the restrictions, apps like Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, and others can’t process more than 30% of total transaction volume.

India’s 4th Healthtech Unicorn: The Indian Startup Funding Counter Pristyn Care, based in Gurugram, became India’s fourth healthtech unicorn and the 40th business to join the unicorn club in 2021, after raising money from Sequoia Capital and others, as first reported by Inc42.


After a slow start to December, the Indian startup ecosystem picked up steam in the last week, raising $908 million in 53 deals.

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