HDFC Bank begins offline payment pilot under RBI sandbox

MUMBAI: The country’s largest private sector lender HDFC Bank on Monday said it is attempting to execute digital payments in an offline mode under a regulatory facility to test innovations.
Apart from executing transactions in no network areas, such a facility will be of help in urban pockets experiencing bad networks and also in aircraft, according to a statement.
It can be noted that there is a facility which helps users with feature phones undertake Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions.
HDFC Bank has begun the pilot in a partnership with Crunchfish, IDFC Bank and M2P Fintech under the RBI’s regulatory sandbox programme after getting the nod in September 2022, it said.
The lender will roll-out this service as part of a limited pilot for four months in more than 16 cities and towns across the country. The offline transaction amount would be limited to up to Rs 200 per transaction.
Digital payment typically requires one either the customer or the merchant to be online to get executed. The pilot is attempting to ensure that a transaction goes even when both customer and merchant are fully offline, the statement said.
As soon as either the merchant or the customer goes online, the transaction gets settled, the statement said.
“This innovation will accelerate financial inclusion in remote areas by enabling adoption of digital payments as both merchants and customers can do transactions without any network,” the bank’s country head for payments business Parag Rao, said.

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