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PhonePe and BharatPe in talks with Multiple Banks to Support UPI

PhonePe and BharatPe Over Yes Bank Crisis: After the midnight oil was burned to move Yes Bank user IDs and merchant payments to ICICI Bank via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), both PhonePe and BharatPe claimed they fully restored operations over the weekend. These include peer-to-peer and merchant payments via UPI.

Following the Yes Bank crisis, Bengaluru-based PhonePe has initiated talks with the State Bank of India (SBI) to adopt a multi-bank approach to UPI. Delhi-based BharatPe also in talks with Kotak Mahindra Bank and SBI.

After the rescue of ICICI Bank, the Mumbai-based bank is handling nearly 60% of UPI transactions, as it is working with Google Pay. Sources also said National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) played a critical role in emerging within 24 hours from the Yes Bank crisis.

“NPCI was constantly monitoring the situation. Yes Bank has given a no-objection certificate to migrate user UPI holders to ICICI Bank till the moratorium is in place. Changes were done after that,” a source said.

PhonePe co-founder and CEO Sameer Nigam said on Twitter, “Just never imagined the bank itself going totally dark like this. Lesson learned in the hardest possible way.” PhonePe also made a hit on its balance sheet as it had to settle payments with merchants through the latest nodal accounts with ICICI Bank, as the money remains trapped in Yes Bank.

The amount PhonePe used to settle with its merchants is not known, but it is one of the largest consumer-focused UPI apps, which clock 20 million daily transactions. PhonePe had to fly down to Mumbai in the wake of some of their worst problems so far.

BharatPe QR Codes in Yes Bank Crisis


BharatPe co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover said, “All our QRs are active now. It was one of the fastest migrations did — NPCI was working with us overnight to get this done.” BharatPe had 20-30% exposure to Yes Bank for its QR codes.

ICICI Bank said it could afford to respond to PhonePe’s crisis because the bank had an application programming interface called APIs, ready and high-volume transaction systems tested during peacetime and fraud analytics systems in place.

“The bank put together a 40-strong team of legal, operational, and technological to avoid having to obtain approvals sequentially. In the future, if customers want, the handles would be revised to reflect ICICI Bank domain names,” said ICICI Bank ED Anup Bagchi.

Currently, PhonePe users can handle using their existing UPI IDs of Yes Bank (@ybl), as TOI reported in its Saturday edition.

Kotak Mahindra Bank Chief Digital Officer Deepak Sharma said that he is always looking for “mutually beneficial partnerships” without commenting on BharatPe talks. An email sent to SBI did not give rise to any response until pressing time. Users can check here for updates on the latest business and marketing news.


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