Central bank to add support for NFC to India’s UPI Lite digital wallet service

Hand holding a smartphone with UPI lite logo with an orange circle around the whole image
OFFLINE PAYMENT: Users will be able to pay using UPI Lite even if there is no internet or mobile connection

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is to add support for NFC payments to the country’s UPI Lite digital wallet, enabling users to conduct transactions on their smartphone even when there is no internet or mobile connection.

The RBI is adding the option to the stored value wallet — which was launched in September 2022  — to “optimise processing resources for banks, thereby reducing transaction failures,” the bank says.

“The product has gained traction and currently processes more than 10m transactions a month.

“To promote the use of UPI Lite, it is proposed to facilitate offline transactions using NFC technology. This feature will not only enable retail digital payments in situations where internet/telecom connectivity is weak or not available, it will also ensure speed, with minimal transaction declines.”

The news comes as the RBI has also announced that it is proposing to increase the transaction limit for contactless offline payments made with UPI Lite, the National Common Mobility Card and other payment methods from 200 rupees (£1.92/US$2.42) to 500 rupees (£4.79/US$6.05).

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