ICICI Bank-PhonePe app: battle lines drawn over interoperability

| Updated on: Jan 12, 2018

ICICI Bank has said it would start allowing certain non-banking application-originated UPI transactions to resume only when the concerned app (PhonePe) allows interoperability

Unified Payment Interface-based payments are yet to take wings in India. But already the battle lines seem to have been drawn on the “interoperability” issue between some UPI-enabled apps.

What started as a temporary stand-off between ICICI Bank and Flipkart’s PhonePe App (a non-bank app) seem to have now turned into a slugfest on accepting the UPI transactions originating from each other’s app.

The latest turn of events in this episode is ICICI Bank’s announcement that it would start allowing certain non-banking application-originated UPI transactions to resume only when the concerned app (PhonePe) allows interoperability.

This ICICI Bank stance came hours after the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) — developer of the UPI — advised the bank to immediately unblock transactions made on Flipkart’s PhonePe app.

Despite the NPCI advice, ICICI Bank put out a rider for it to comply with the requirement.

The ICICI Bank spokesperson said that a certain non-banking application is following 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, the spokesperson added.

According to the spokesperson, NPCI has assured the bank in writing that this will get corrected very soon and the concerned app (PhonePe) will allow interoperability.

Published on January 20, 2017
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