With the advent of UPI apps such as Google Pay, PayTM, PhonePe and others, some people have stopped carrying cash altogether. From the stores in malls to your autorickshaw ride, almost everybody accepts UPI payments nowadays.
UPI payments have made online transactions hassle-free and have considerably reduced the issues related to carrying cash. However, some new problems have arisen. For example, have you ever been stuck in a place where you need to make a payment but you don’t have a proper internet connection? Sometimes the internet might not work at all. It can put you in a real fix, especially if you are used to not taking your wallet everywhere.
The NPCI understood this as a real barrier and came up with a fix — back in November 2012, with the launch of USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) codes, where you can make payments without an internet connection. At that time, the service was available with limited telecom partners, such as BSNL and MTNL. But today, it’s available across all leading networks. As per the NPCI, the *99# service can be accessed in 13 different languages including Hindi and English, and is offered by 83 leading banks.
But wait, before you go try this out, you need to set up your account:
Step 1: Dial *99# on your smartphone.
Step 2: Select your desired language and enter your bank’s name or the first 4 letters of your IFSC.
Step 3: You will be able to see the list of bank accounts linked to your number. Choose the one you want to proceed with.
Step 4: You now need to add the last 6 digits of your debit card along with the expiry date.
That’s all! Now you can make payments without an internet connection.
All you need to do is:
Step 1: Dial *99# and enter 1 to send money.
Step 2: Select your desired option and enter your bank account number or phone number or UPI ID.
Step 3: Enter the amount and type UPI PIN.
Your transaction is done!
It is important to note that you will be charged up to ₹0.50 per transaction for using this service. The current upper limit is ₹5000 per transaction.
This facility is a savior when your internet speed is slow or you have a poor network. Try it out!