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Gupshup to enable UPI payments on Nokia feature phones; in talks with other OEMs

With GSPay, Gupshup claims to be the first to develop a native payment app for feature phones (non-smartphones) that uses SMS messaging to allow UPI payments without the need for a data plan or internet connectivity.

Gupshup to enable UPI payments on Nokia feature phones; in talks with other OEMs

Thursday May 25, 2023 , 3 min Read

Gupshup has partnered with Nokia (HMD Global) to pre-load its UPI payments app, GSPay, on the latter's feature phones.

The conversational engagement platform has leveraged UPI 123 Pay, an instant payment system launched by RBI and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) last year which allows users of feature phones (non-smartphones) to make payments without internet connectivity.

This new app is preloaded on Nokia 105 (2023) and Nokia 106 4G feature phones, for now.

In an email response to YourStory, Gupshup confirmed that it was in talks with other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)—or handset makers—for a similar facility, and will make an announcement regarding the same soon.

With GSPay, the Tiger Global-backed SaaS unicorn claims to be the first to develop a native payment app for feature phones, It uses SMS messaging to allow UPI payments without the need for a data plan or internet connectivity. 

Available in 12 Indian languages, it gives the option to make payments either via mobile number or UPI ID.

The company’s solution (now GSPay) won NPCI’s Grand Challenge in 2020, beating 750 innovators from around the world who submitted ideas and solutions towards a payment system for feature phones in India. 

The app further allows feature phone users to scan QR codes to make utility and P2P payments.

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“This innovative capability will bring a vast number of feature phone users into the digital and payments ecosystem. We’re glad to work with NPCI, Nokia, and Airtel Payments Bank to make this a reality,” said Beerud Sheth, CEO, and Co-founder, Gupshup. 

The app lets users pay bills, sends them actionable payment reminders, and helps them keep track of their outgoing and incoming transactions on UPI. To ensure user security, the app has multiple levels of encryption and authentication built into it, Gupshup said. 

“So far, solutions built on UPI 123 Pay have deployed either missed calls or an IVR-based system for making payments. The IVR-based system, however, works (only) for existing UPI users. But with GSPay, even new users can register for UPI, link bank accounts, and set UPI PIN—all within the embedded app in the phone,” the statement shared by the company read. 

Valued at $1.4 billion, Gupshup claims over 45,000 brands are using its conversational messaging platform to manage customer interactions. Its user base is spread across markets in India, Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. Citibank, AkzoNobel, Khan Academy, Unilever, MPL, Netflix, Flipkart, and Ola are some of its clients.

Recently, Tata Capital, the financial services division of Tata Group, also started offering UPI 123PAY digital payment facility, powered by Tonetag VoiceSe, to its customers. 


Edited by Kanishk Singh