The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently unveiled a series of novel features designed to enhance the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system, taking digital transactions to a new level. Among these innovations is integrating artificial intelligence (AI) to enable conversational payments.
According to the report of Indian Express, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das announced other new features for UPI at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Thursday.
Artificial intelligence (AI) for conversational payments
Towards a more seamless and user-friendly transaction experience, the RBI introduced AI-driven conversational payments, an initiative by NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India). It will allow users to engage with a chatbot while making payments enabling secure payments within a virtual dialogue.
Notably, this feature will work on both smartphones and feature phones, helping to increase digital penetration in the country, Das said. The initial rollout will support English and Hindi, with expansion into more Indian languages on the horizon. NPCI will receive instructions from RBI soon.
While exact details on how conversational payments will work were not shared, it’s likely that NPCI will likely push for the inclusion of an AI chatbot like ChatGPT to help users with payments.
UPI Lite transaction increases to Rs 500
RBI also proposed to increase the per transaction limit for UPI Lite from Rs 200 to Rs 500 in offline mode. Currently, UPI Lite transactions uphold a cap of Rs 200 per transaction and Rs 2,000 per payment instrument for small-value digital payments in offline mode, including for UPI Lite and National Common Mobility Card (NCMC). This mode is exempt from dual-factor authentication, enabling faster, more reliable, and contactless payments for small and transit transactions.
“The overall limit remains at Rs 2,000 to limit the risks associated with relaxing two-factor authentication”, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das mentioned.
Seamless Offline Payments Through NFC
Shaktikanta Das also announced plans for offline UPI payments via NFC technology within UPI Lite to enable retail digital payments in areas with spotty or absent internet or telecom connectivity. Users only need to tap their smartphones on the point-of-sale (PoS) machine for transactions. It will also ensure speed, with minimal transaction decline, the MPC statement said.