How to transfer money with UPI without having an active internet connection?

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Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The service was launched in 2016 by Dr Raghuram G Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. The UPI service aims to facilitate instant and hassle-free transactions between two bank accounts and reduce the amount of paper used for printing in national currency.

Currently, there are many applications using the technology to provide users with instant banking transactions, such as Google Pay, BHIM UPI, PhonePe, etc. During the first waves of the pandemic in 2020, a large number of people adopted the digital payment service. According to a report published in Commercial standard, up to 3.24 billion UPI transactions were reported in July 2021, which equates to Rs. 6.06 trillion.

USSD service allows users to transfer money without using the internet

Although UPI transactions can be performed from multiple applications, all of them require an active internet connection to initiate and complete transactions. But what if someone wants to send money and doesn’t 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 perform 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 referred to as the ‘* 99 #’ service. Surprisingly, the USSD service was launched four years before the launch of the current UPI network in the country, that is, in 2012. Payment methods have been integrated over time, which means that a user can use it to send and receive money.

How to transfer money with UPI without having an active internet connection?

  • A user who opts for this service should ensure that there is an active UPI account with the correct phone number and account details.
  • Go to the “Phone” app or caller in a smartphone or normal phone and enter “* 99 #” and dial the call.
  • By calling the number, a user will be directed to a numbered menu with seven different options.
    1. Send money
    2. To recieve money
    3. Check the balance
    4. My profile
    5. Current requests
    6. Transactions
    7. UPI PIN
  • To transfer money, press 1 on the mobile phone’s numeric keypad. In this menu, a user will be presented with options to complete a transaction using UPI ID, Bank Account + IFSC Code or Phone Number. Select from the options offered and press the corresponding number on the numeric keypad.
  • When choosing UPI as the transfer mode, a user would have to enter the recipient’s UPI ID. Likewise, if the bank account is selected in the last menu, the account number and the IFSC code must be entered.
  • After confirming the recipient’s details, a person will be prompted to enter the amount that needs to be transferred.
  • When confirming the amount, enter the UPI PIN code and confirm. Once the transaction is complete, a user will receive a confirmation on their account.
  • The service also costs a fee of Rs. 0.50.
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