NPCI advises ICICI Bank to open UPI transactions through PhonePe App

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Thursday said it has advised lending major ICICI Bank to 'open UPI (Unified Payments Interface) transactions' through mobile phone e-wallet PhonePe App immediately.

The development comes after NPCI reviewed the recent action taken by the ICICI Bank to block UPI transactions made through the mobile e-wallet application.

 NPCI advises ICICI Bank to open UPI transactions through PhonePe App


"We had a discussion with ICICI Bank and YES Bank -- the banker to PhonePe -- to review the matter and arrived at this," the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in the country said in a statement.

The national financial service UPI enables bank account holders to send and receive money from their respective smartphones without the need to enter bank account information or net banking details.

The UPI is popularly used to send and receive money from individuals or to pay directly to merchants.

According to NPCI, it has also advised banks to adhere to the merchant on-boarding guidelines meticulously from the angle of interoperability of merchant App so that such disputes are avoided.

On its part, ICICI Bank said that a 'non-banking application' followed a restrictive practice of allowing only users of its own UPI handle to make payments on its App.

"This is a clear violation of UPI guidelines which mandate interoperability, wherein users enjoy the freedom to choose any UPI handle to make payments," an ICICI Bank's Spokesperson said.

"NPCI has assured us in writing that this will get corrected very soon and the concerned App will allow interoperability. As soon as this is corrected, ICICI Bank will start allowing UPI transactions to resume on this App."

The NPCI was set up in 2009 as the central infrastructure for various retail payment systems in India and was envisaged by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as the payment utility for all banks in the country.

The retail payment's umbrella organisation has been trying to promote digital payments through various modes including Cheque Truncation System, National Automated Clearing House (NACH), Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), UPI and Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM).

Updated Date: Jan 20, 2017 08:24:52 IST