How to send and receive money with UPI on iPhone and feature phones without BHIM app

BHIM app will launch on iOS in 10 days, but here’s how to send and receive money now using UPI. The process also works on feature phones.


PM Narendra Modi launched Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) last week to make digital transactions easy, and the app has been the talk of the town. The app may only be restricted to the Android platform for now, but if you are using a feature phone or an Apple iPhone, here’s how you can send or receive money using UPI.

The process makes use of the USSD-based mobile banking, which has recently been upgraded with UPI integration. It may not be as seamless and easy as using the BHIM app, but it’s the best option right now if don’t own an Android smartphone, and still want to send or receive money using UPI. Following are the steps you need to follow for transactions using the new USSD platform.

On your iPhone or feature phone, dial *99# and in a couple of seconds you will be greeted with a welcome screen that first asks you to choose a default language — English or Hindi. Once selected, the next screen is where you will need to link your bank account. Here the options you get are, Bank Name, First 4 letters of IFSC, 3 letters Short Name, and 2 digit numeric code. The easiest option is three, where the first three letters of your bank’s name should suffice. In my case, entering HDF was enough to link to my HDFC account. The idea here is that your phone number is linked to your bank account, and the platform quickly creates a link between the two.

iphone-upi-transaction-screensWith the bank account linked, you will now need to create a unique UPI PIN before any transactions can be made. On the next screen, you are shown seven options — Send Money, Request Money, Check Balance, My Profile, Pending Requests, Transactions, UPI PIN. Select the last option, and to create a pin, you are asked to enter the last six digits of your debit card <space> the four digits of your card’s expiry date. You are then asked to enter a four digit code, which becomes like a password of sorts. Once verified, a unique address is created, which by default is in the following format — ‘mobilenumber@upi’. You can however customize it with something like ‘yourname@upi’.

With your PIN ready, you can now send or receive money to anyone. On the home screen, select the Send Money option, and you will get five more options to select whom you want to send the money to — Mobile number, Payment Address, Saved Beneficiary, IFSC, Account number, MMID, Mobile number. The Payment Address is the best option, where you can enter the recipient’s UPI address followed by ‘@upi’, and the platform will fetch the recipient details and show their name. Enter the amount you want to transfer, followed by entering 4-digit UPI PIN in the next step, and hit send. Once the money is sent, the platform asks you to either save the recipient for further reference or exit. The minimum amount you can transfer is Re 1, while the maximum per transaction is Rs 10,000. The maximum amount of money that you can send in a day is also limited to Rs 20,000.

On the home screen, you also have the option to receive money from someone. Select the second option, followed by the amount in the next screen. This will send a collect money notification to the recipient. The third option let’s you check your account balance, and all you need to enter is the 4-digit UPI PIN for verification. The rest include options to check your profile, change language, as well as bank account. Select the last option to change your linked bank account, which will become the default account used for sending or receiving money.

As you can imagine, the process is far from being seamless or easy like the BHIM Android app. What makes it worse is that you only have about 5-10 seconds to make a choice, or the entire process has to be re-done. But in the current scenario, this is the best option if you are on the iOS platform or using a feature phone. ALSO READ: BHIM app for iOS to launch in next 10 days, to feature multi-lingual support: NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant

There are also a couple of tricks that can make the process a tad easier. Say for example, you want to send money to someone using the USSD platform. Instead of going through all the screens, you can simply dial *99*1*2. This will directly take you the screen, where you need to enter the recipient’s payment address. Similarly you can reach any of the screens if you remember the options.

What do you think of this process? Try it out and let us know in the comments section below.

  • Published Date: January 2, 2017 6:43 PM IST
  • Updated Date: January 3, 2017 9:28 AM IST