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PhonePe in talks with ICICI Bank for UPI play

Even WhatsApp Payments, which is in beta testing stage, is working with four banks.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 30, 2019, 08.00 AM IST
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The other two large players in the UPI ecosystem are Google Pay and Paytm — while the latter is a bank itself, the former works with four banks to offer the service to its users.
BENGALURU: Digital payments major PhonePe is working with private sector lender ICICI Bank to forge a partnership and offer Unified Payments Interface-based digital transactions to its customers, according to two people in the know of the matter.

This move could be a direct fallout of the mandate from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which manages UPI payments in the country. Previously, PhonePe was offering UPI payments in partnership with Yes Bank through the ‘@ybl’ handle. Following this, customers onboarding onto PhonePe could be allocated ICICI Bank handles.

“The NPCI has spoken in its internal committees about making it mandatory for any third party payments provider with more than 5% market share to have more than one banking partner, the only major player in the UPI payments space with one partner bank was Phone-Pe, hence the move to partner with ICICI Bank,” said a senior banker.

The other two large players in the UPI ecosystem are Google Pay and Paytm — while the latter is a bank itself, the former works with four banks to offer the service to its users. Even WhatsApp Payments, which is in beta testing stage, is working with four banks.

“While the integration is on, how much time it will take for the partnership to go live cannot be said definitely — there are technical integrations and certifications that need to be done,” said the banker.

Both PhonePe and ICICI Bank did not respond to ET’s queries.

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