To foster financial inclusion, IDEMIA, Airtel Payments Bank & HMD Global, the home of Nokia Phones is joining hands to bring digital Rupee application on feature phones

This partnership will work towards further strengthening financial inclusion and digital payments, to make it possible to pay in digital currency even without having a smartphone or being connected to the internet, either temporarily or because of coverage limitations.

IDEMIA, the global leader in identity technologies and biometric solutions, today announces that it has joined hands with Airtel Payments Bank and HMD Global, the home of Nokia Phones to expand the reach of offline CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) payments in India.

All the three organizations would be working together to introduce an advanced offline payment system over the next few months that would facilitate the use of the digital Rupee (CBDC issued by the Reserve Bank of India) on feature phones and promoting financial inclusion. For the first time in the industry, an attempt is being made to bring CBDC payments on feature phones via an application interface.

IDEMIA Secure Offline CBDC Payment solution already works with a large variety of devices: smartphones, biometric cards, and plastic cards. In India, smartphone accessibility remains elusive for more than half of the population. This endeavor seeks to confront the obstacles associated with facilitating digital transactions to a much wider consumers particularly in areas with limited connectivity.

Under this collaboration IDEMIA’s technology will offer an offline layer to ensure instant and secure transactions without the need for online validation. It will work with the digital Rupee in India, and with any other solution, decentralized or centralized, token or account based, developed in-house by a central bank or independent software vendors.

Today’s announcement brings all the three organizations together IDEMIA’s CBDC technology with Airtel Payments Bank financial solution and Nokia feature phones to go further on financial inclusion. Once the solution is commercially made available, users will be able to pay using an ingenious and cost-effective feature phone extending the accessibility of offline payment functionalities to a wider population.

We are confident that this collaboration will allow us to further expand the reach of digital payments and be the pioneers in the development of acceptance of digital rupee in India. Our alliance with Nokia and Airtel Payment Bank is poised to provide valuable insights and contributions to the evolution of offline retail CBDC systems.
Amit KAKATIKAR, SVP Payment Solutions at IDEMIA

Once this is commercially launched over the next few months, Nokia feature phone users in India, will be able to access the digital Rupee thanks to this collaboration which will empower the Nokia feature phone users with this latest technology and strengthen our government’s vision of inclusive digital economy for all.
Mr. Ravi Kunwar- VP- India & APAC – HMD Global

Our partnership with IDEMIA and Nokia is a testament to our unwavering commitment to drive financial inclusion in the country. We are confident that once we move from the design phase and launch the solution commercially with all required approvals, it will play a pivotal role in advancing the accessibility of financial services and contribute to India’s transition towards a digitally inclusive economy.
Prasad Routray, Head, Corporate Business & Alliances at Airtel Payments Bank

As the journey towards advancing digital payments in India continues, IDEMIA, Nokia feature phones, and Airtel Payment Bank remain resolute in their dedication to unlock financial inclusion through offline payments, making the digital Rupee available everywhere, at any time and for everyone.

  • About us - As the leader in identity technologies, IDEMIA's mission is to unlock the world, make it safer—backed by cutting-edge R&D and a long-standing expertise in biometrics and cryptography. IDEMIA develops technologies of excellence that are unique in the world, with an impactful, ethical, and socially responsible approach.

    IDEMIA unlocks simpler and safer ways to pay, connect, access, identify, travel, and protect public places. Every day IDEMIA secures billions of interactions across the physical and digital worlds.
    With nearly 15,000 employees, IDEMIA is trusted by over 600 governmental organizations and more than 2,300 enterprises spread over 180 countries.

  • About IDEMIA India - IDEMIA India has been a significant contributor to the group’s global success story, with almost one-third of its global workforce (5,000+ employees) based in India. Over the past 27 years, IDEMIA has partnered with the government and other major private sector players to implement mission-critical digital transformations in India, such as the Jan Dhan Yojna and Aadhaar program. We have an impressive list of clients in India, including UIDAI, top private and public banks, fin-techs, all top telecom service providers, and some state governments.

    IDEMIA believes in ‘Made in India’ and has one of the world’s largest and best smart card factories at NSEZ in Noida. The group exports to over 300 destinations from this plant. We also leverage the technological expertise available in India, with the presence of global R&D and global digital platforms, to create innovative solutions for our clients across the world.

    For more information, visit or follow @IdemiaGroup on X, formerly known as Twitter.

  • About Airtel Payments Bank - Airtel Payments Bank is India’s first Payments Bank that launched in January 2017, now boasts of over 40 million+ customers and over 500K banking points across the country.

    In addition to having a presence in all 29 states of India, Airtel Payments Bank also has an app for Android and iOS users to make banking easier for its rural and urban customers. Airtel Payments Bank aims to take digital banking services to the doorstep of every Indian, particularly in unbanked rural areas, and contribute to the Government’s vision of Digital India and Financial Inclusion.

  • About HMD Global - Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, HMD Global Oy (“HMD”) is the home of Nokia phones and HMD Services.

    HMD’s mission is to provide accessible connectivity for everyone. HMD designs and markets a range of smartphones and feature phones and an expanding portfolio of innovative service offerings. With an ongoing commitment to security, durability, reliability, and quality across its range, HMD is the proud exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for phones, tablets and accessories. For further information, see


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