Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) on Thursday launched a voice-based digital payment facility for its cooking gas (LPG) consumers, who do not have smartphones or the internet.

BPCL said it has partnered with UltraCash Technologies Pvt Ltd to offer a voice-based digital payment facility through which its BharatGas consumers, who do not have a smartphone or internet access, can book their LPG cylinders and make payment via ‘UPI 123PAY’.

“With the introduction of this facility, approximately 4 crore consumers of BharatGas in rural India will benefit,” the company said in a statement.
BPCL is the first company in India to offer its service to consumers after the RBI governor announced the launch of UPI 123PAY last week.

UltraCash is a mobile payment application developed by UltraCash Technologies and authorized by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).

Through the partnership, BharatGas customers can call a general number 080-4516-3554 from non-internet phone and book BharatGas cylinder for themselves or their friends in simple steps in a secure way and also make payments.

“This facility will bring the confidence of digital payments to our nationwide customers, who will now enjoy the same freedom and transparency previously only available to smartphone users,” it said.

“During the month leading up to the launch, more than 13,000 Bharatgas clients have transacted for more than Rs 1 crore, indicating that transactions worth Rs 100 crore can be expected in the next twelve months.”

Santosh Kumar, Executive Director Incharge (LPG), BPCL, said: “India still has a vast majority of feature phone users. Furthermore, even in urban areas, many users are looking for completely secure ways of digital payments. With Government of India Also by promoting the use of LPG through programs such as Ujjwala Yojana, this facility will help further penetrate into rural markets.”

“While this service can be used by anyone, it is primarily aimed at users of non-function phones, but the ease and security of payments with UPI 123PAY will make it popular among all segments and users.”

Vishal Lal, co-founder of UltraCash, said: “This groundbreaking initiative by RBI & NPCI enables customers to pay and book in the simplest form of a voice call”.

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