The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which operates India’s retail payments and settlement systems, is collaborating with AI4Bharat, an open-source language artificial intelligence (AI) centre to make banking transactions easier for the 300 million Indians who don’t own a smartphone.
What Happened? Per an ET report, currently, those with only a feature phone must press a series of 52 buttons to make a simple bank transfer via the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). This process is tedious and time-consuming.
AI4Bharat and NPCI aim to improve this process by enabling voice-based transactions in local languages, essentially creating a way for users to ‘speak’ their transactions.
For feature phone users, this technology can bring the benefits of innovative platforms like Unified Payments Interface (UPI) closer. At present, UPI is mostly accessible to smartphone users who can simply scan a QR code to send money. Thus, this new development hopes to bring similar ease to feature phone users.
From what we know so far, the technology will recognize and identify voices in Indian languages, allowing users to make transactions more intuitively.
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The news of this collaboration between the NPCI and AI4Bharat comes as the global voice-based payments market is set to expand significantly. In 2021, the market was valued at ₹48,561 crore and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.9% from 2022 to 2030, according to a report by Grand View Research.
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