Bharat Petroleum launches voice-based LPG booking, payment facility

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 internet.

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

“With the introduction of this facility, around 4 crore consumers of BharatGas in rural India will stand to 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 authorised by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).

The collaboration would allow BharatGas customers to call a common number 080-4516-3554 from a non-internet phone and book BharatGas cylinder for themselves or their friends in easy steps in a secured manner and also make payments.

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

“During the month preceding the launch, more than 13,000 Bharatgas customers transacted for more than Rs 1 crore, which indicates that Rs 100 crore worth transactions in next twelve months could be anticipated.”

Santosh Kumar, Executive Director Incharge (LPG), BPCL said, “India still has a vast majority of feature phone users. Further, even in urban areas, many users are looking for fully secure ways of digital payments. With the Government of India also promoting the usage of LPG through schemes like Ujjwala Yojana, this facility will help in further penetrating into rural markets.

“Though this service can be used by all, it is primarily meant for non-feature phone users but ease and security of payments of UPI 123PAY will make it popular across all segments and users.”

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

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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