Feature Phone Users in India Can Pay Without Using the Internet 

This unique feature will allow select feature phone users to make mobile payments without using the internet.

Tech News
2 min read
Feature phone users weren’t part of the mobile payment ecosystem in India.

Digital payments have got a big push in India, but that’s mostly confined to smartphone users, or anybody who can access the internet on their mobile devices.

But the fact is India has millions of users who still rely on non-internet based feature phones.

How are they expected to make payments online when the internet isn’t available to them? This is where India-based mobile manufacturer, Lava, has come out with a unique product which caters to offline users with feature phones.

It’s called Lava Pay and by the looks of it, Lava has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to offer mobile payments without using the internet. This video will show you how it works:

To make the payment, Lava says the users have to enter the phone number of the receiver, payment amount and confirm the process using a transaction passcode. Both the parties will be alerted when the payment goes through via an SMS.

But how does one get the passcode?

“One way is to go and set the passcode at the bank branch while the other way is to set password through our registration page.”
Tejinder Singh, Head - Product, Lava to The Quint 

The company confirmed to us that the password will not be stored anywhere.

It’s worth noting Lava Pay will only work on Lava feature phones for now. This compatibility includes both old and new models. 

UPI Offers Similar Feature

This process is similar to how you pay on smartphones using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) ecosystem through Google Pay and Paytm among others. In fact, UPI payment is also available through feature phones using the *99# service, which is available with over 82 banks in the country right now.

This feature usually includes multiple steps to make a payment, which might not be convenient for all feature phone users. This is where Lava Pay tries to make it simpler. But does it have security concerns?

Tejinder from Lava claims they have “used multi-factored security and also follow the security guidelines laid by NPCI and RBI.” Since the app isn’t connected to the internet, chances of mishaps will be less.

He also confirmed that Lava is open to collaborating with other companies to make the payment option available to feature phones of other brands.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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