Digital payments platform Paytm on Wednesday has announced a toll-free number 1800-1800-1234 to enable consumers and merchants without an internet connection to pay and receive money instantly and also recharge their mobile phones. This will empower millions of non-smartphone users to go cashless even without a smartphone.
However, to use this service You will still need a smartphone (or access to a PC) in order to create your Paytm account, and link it to your phone number – and of course to load funds into the wallet. However, you will have the option to use Paytm without Internet or smartphone to make payments on a day to day basis. All you require is working phone – even if it is a feature phone.
“We are committed to enabling more and more Indians to be able to transact digitally. The launch of our new toll-free payment number is another significant step in that direction. This will allow even non-smartphone users across India go cashless,” added Nitin Mishra, Senior Vice President for Paytm.
Currently over a million offline merchants across India accept Paytm as a payment mode. Paytm is being accepted in taxis, autos, petrol pumps, grocery shops, restaurants, coffee shops, multiplexes, parking, pharmacies, hospitals, kirana shops and more.
How to use Paytm without Internet or smartphone?
To do this, Paytm has launched a toll free phone number – 1800 1800 1234 – you will have to call it from your registered mobile number in order to set your PIN. You’ll hear a voice message letting you know that you’ll get a call back to set the PIN.
After that, you can make payments using Paytm without Internet and smartphone by calling this number, typing in the phone number of the recipient, then the amount, and finally typing in your PIN for confirmation.
Where can this Paytm toll free number be used?
Although it’s not the easiest method for making payments, there could be a number of situations where this feature of using Paytm without Internet or smartphones is useful. For example, several of us have older relatives who still prefer to use feature phones for the simplicity of use. For such users, who are now forced to transact digitally owing to the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, Paytm’s toll free number would be helpful. On the other hand, for people who are still using feature phones because they don’t have a smartphone, this number, along with a visit to a cyber cafe, could be very empowering. And of course, there are also people who might prefer to use this method rather than tap through multiple screens on an app.
However, we have to say that we have tried to set a Pin but, our first several attempts at getting through were unsuccessful as the number was consistently busy. It took more than half an hour of trying before we were able to sign up for the service, and after that, payments were again a problem because the number was busy on the next few tries.
This might just be because of the initial rush for signups for the option to use Paytm without Internet and smartphone, but it paints a worrying picture – if someone is trying to make a payment using this method, they might not have access to other forms of online payments, and so if the system fails due to the number being busy, it would be a huge problem.