HDFC Bank: The largest private sector bank in India has started a trial programme for offline digital payments. In collaboration with Crunchfish, HDFC Bank has unveiled the OfflinePay solution as part of the RBI’s Regulatory Sandbox Program. Customers and organisations can send and receive payments with this service without the need for a mobile network.
As the first bank in the nation to introduce such a solution, HDFC Bank has made it feasible for digital payments to be made in remote towns and villages that lack adequate mobile network coverage. For cashless transactions at significant public gatherings, trade shows, and exhibitions—places where mobile network traffic is frequently heavy—the OfflinePay solution is also practical.
It is challenging to use traditional digital payment methods in places with inadequate connectivity since one of the people participating in the transaction must be online. However, the “OfflinePay” option from HDFC Bank enables both the customer and the merchant to complete transactions without an internet connection.
The technology, according to HDFC Bank, enables customers and/or merchants to settle transactions once they are both back online. Merchants can obtain payment confirmation in offline mode. During the four-month test phase, which will take place in more than 16 cities and towns throughout India, the service will be accessible to customers of other banks via an invitation link. The maximum transaction amount for OfflinePay during the pilot will be INR 200.
Additionally, offline payments can be conducted in places where networks are unreliable, such as parking lots, retail establishments, commercial aircraft, trains, and ships. As part of the regulatory sandbox initiative, the RBI authorised the application created by HDFC Bank and Crunchfish in September 2022. If this pilot experiment is successful, it might usher in a new era of offline digital payments in India.