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Voice payments in local language bridge an eDivide

June 13, 2023

Voice payments in local language bridge an eDivide
Imagine having to press keys on your mobile 52 times to make a bank transaction. For the 300 million people in India who do not have a smartphone, to transfer money using Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), this is a reality if not for AI4Bharat’s work with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to ease this process and make banking seamless in Indian languages.

This technology is expected to significantly help feature phone users get the benefit of digital railroads such as Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
 
The NPCI, the platform for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India is working with AI4Bharat, an open-source language artificial intelligence (AI) centre based at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, to facilitate voice-based merchant payments as well as peer-to-peer transactions in local languages.
 
It is learnt that the language models will be provided by AI4Bharat. Currently, smartphone users can scan a QR code and send money. But those who use a feature phone, only have the option of using the IVRS which is time taking and cumbersome.
 
“This technology will significantly help feature phone users get the benefit of innovations such as UPI,” said an official in the know of the development.
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