The move from Flipkart-owned PhonePe, has come as a result of the ongoing battle between ICICI and PhonePe, where the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), has now declared that the app is not interoperable as per UPI guidelines, according to a report by ET.
PhonePe’s CEO Sameer Nigam told ET, “PhonePe has disabled the UPI-based payment support for its merchant Flipkart’s Android App temporarily. It’s been 8 days since ICICI unilaterally blocked all YES Bank transactions leading to significant inconvenience for our customers and their own. We have made multiple requests to the NPCI to resolve the matter quickly. Unfortunately, ICICI has refused to unblock UPI access – even after NPCI issued a public directive telling them to do so on Thursday, 19th January.”
This decision, on NPCI’s part, comes days after it had earlier ordered Flipkart’s mobile wallet and UPI platform PhonePe to facilitate full interoperability on the Unified Payments Interface.
“Under the current circumstances, we believe it’s unfair to subject our own merchants, including Flipkart, to such poor service quality. We requested Flipkart to allow us to temporarily suspend UPI-based payments on the Flipkart app until this issue is properly resolved,” Nigam added.
Earlier this month, ICICI customers were not been able to facilitate payments via PhonePe. About 6,000 transactions originating from PhonePe, that uses the YES Bank handle, were blocked by ICICI Bank.
Following that, PhonePe alleged that the payments were blocked wrongfully over ‘restrictive practices’ and ‘security concerns.’ Earlier last week, the NPCI intervened in the matter, gave PhonePe a clean chit and asked ICICI Bank to open UPI transactions immediately.
As per the ET report, a statement issued by the NPCI on Friday stated, “During a review of the ICICI Bank blocking, the UPI transactions made through Flipkart’s PhonePe, we have found the said ewallet and the Flipkart apps are in contravention of the UPI guidelines of interoperability. Hence, we have directed PhonePe and Flipkart to comply with the UPI guidelines and allow payments from UPI handles of all banks on their apps.”