Vodafone Idea has partnered with Paytm to let feature phone users recharge without having to go to a physical store, or using mobile data. This new technique is based on the NPCI’s payment service *99#, which works on the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel. For this to work, feature phone users must have a UPI ID that is already registered with BHIM UPI. Paytm has also offered a way for UPI ID customers to set a UPI PIN, and then recharge their accounts.

This new method introduced by Vodafone Idea and Paytm enables feature phone users to recharge their accounts directly on the phone, without having to leave the house during the lockdown. These feature phone users don’t require an Internet connection either to recharge their Vodafone Idea accounts. For users whose UPI ID is already registered with BHIM UPI, they need to begin the process by dialling in the USSD code – 991*3#. Follow the process mentioned below:

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For Vodafone Idea users with UPI ID registered with BHIM UPI

  1. Type USSD code 991*3#
  2. Vodafone Idea subscriber’s bank account number that is linked to the mobile number, through which the USSD code is punched in, is detected.
  3. User needs to then enter their unique Paytm UPI ID. Vodafone Customers can enter (98**.vf@paytm), and Idea customers can enter (98**.id@paytm)
  4. Enter the recharge amount required
  5. Give the UPI Pin for completing the transaction
  6. The recharge should be completed, and a UPI reference ID should be generated for the user.

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For Vodafone Idea users with UPI ID not registered with BHIM UPI

  1. Type USSD code 99#
  2. Vodafone Idea subscribers are shown all of their bank accounts linked with the mobile number from where the USSD code is dialed in
  3. The subscriber needs to then select the bank account they want to register with their UPI ID
  4. Once selected, the subscriber will be asked to set a UPI PIN
  5. After the UPI PIN is set, go back and type USSD code 9913#
  6. Vodafone Idea subscriber’s bank account number that is linked to the mobile number, through which the USSD code is punched in, is detected.
  7. User needs to then enter their unique Paytm UPI ID. Vodafone Customers can enter (98**.vf@paytm), and Idea customers can enter (98**.id@paytm) 
  8. Enter the recharge amount required
  9. Give the UPI Pin for completing the transaction
  10. The recharge should be completed, and a UPI reference ID should be generated for the user

To serve customers during this phase of social distancing, Vodafone Idea recently also introduced a voice-based contactless recharge option for its prepaid customers that can be used at retail outlets. The voice-based contactless recharge option works via Vodafone Idea’s Smart Connect retailer app that retailers use to recharge Vodafone and Idea accounts.


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By HS

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