Flipkart-owned PhonePe has announced ICICI bank as their new partner bank for creating and using UPI IDs for online payments.
Customers can now use the ICICI bank's @ibl handle to create and use UPI IDs in the Phone Pe app. The ICICI bank's handle will be available in addition to the Yes Bank's @ybl handle.
PhonePe has over 200 million registered users and giving the option to use multiple UPI IDs will ensure they can still make transactions even if any one bank's handle is temporarily out of service as it happened in March when Yes Bank's handle was suspended.
The option to access ICICI bank's handle will be rolled out to PhonePe users through a new version of the app. The update will be available on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store in the coming weeks.
"We believe that with this partnership both ICICI Bank and PhonePe would be able to capitalise on their immense domain strengths for empowering customers to a seamless and simple digital payment experience," Bijith Bhaskar, Head- Digital Channels & Partnership, ICICI Bank said in a statement.
After the RBI placed a moratorium on Yes Bank in March, Yes Bank’s UPI handles were blocked by NPCI (national payments corporation of India), leading to mass outage and failed UPI payments. Since Yes Bank was the only partner bank for UPI payments at that time, PhonePe users struggled to make UPI based transactions until the services were restored with ICICI bank as the new partner on a temporary basis.
A few days before the Yes bank crisis, NPCI had asked payment service providers offering UPI payments to use multiple banks as UPI partners to ensure payments don't get disrupted in case of an emergency.
However, most third party payment platforms are still dependent on a single bank for UPI payments.
ICICI Bank is also the UPI partner for Google Pay, MakeMyTrip, Mi Pay and TrueCaller.