Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant payment system that was developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The service was launched back in 2016 by Dr Raghuram G Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India. The UPI service aims to facilitate instant and hassle-free transactions between two bank accounts and to reduce the amount of paper used in domestic currency printing.
Currently, there are a lot of applications that utilize the technology to provide users with instant bank to bank transactions, such as Google Pay, BHIM UPI, PhonePe, and more. During the initial waves of the pandemic in 2020, a large number of people adopted the digital payment service. According to a report published in Business Standard, as many as 3.24 billion UPI transactions were reported in the month of July 2021, which amounts to Rs. 6.06 trillion.
While the UPI transactions can be made from several applications, all of them require an active internet connection to initiate and complete the transactions. But what if someone wants to send money and does not have access to internet connections? Or in other cases when users do not have enough bandwidth to complete a transaction. There is a way to complete UPI transactions without using the internet.
Using the National Unified USSD Platform (NUUP), users can transfer money through UPI without using the internet. The service is also called the '*99#' service. Surprisingly, the USSD service was launched four years before the actual UPI network was launched in the country, i.e. in 2012. The payments method have been integrated over time which means that a user can use it either to send and receive money.