It is a part of the payment app’s effort to get into a multi-bank partnership model to reduce dependence on one bank.
Digital payments major PhonePe has officially launched ‘@ibl’ handle in partnership with ICICI Bank as part of an effort to diversify into a multi-bank partnership model.
The Flipkart-backed payments player had started with Yes Bank and was offering the '@ybl' handle.
“With customers now being able to choose between multiple handles for their UPI IDs, we have achieved another key milestone in our journey towards making payments easy, secure and accessible to all,” PhonePe, vice president, financial services and payments, Hemant Gala said on June 26.
PhonePe suffered a major outage in March when the Reserve Bank of India imposed a moratorium on Yes Bank because of the private lender's poor financial health. Since all its transactions were processed by Yes Bank then, PhonePe, as reported by Moneycontrol, had to overnight transfer load to ICICI Bank to continue operations.
Collaborating with two banks will strengthen the overall service reliability and uptime of PhonePe's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) offering, the company said in a press note.
The partnership is a remarkable turnaround for the startup as well as the private lender.
In 2017, PhonePe was engaged in a public spat with ICICI Bank regarding the flow of UPI payments and issuing of new handles. In January of that year, ICICI Bank had blocked UPI transactions from PhonePe. The issue was later resolved.
Today, PhonePe is one of the largest UPI players in the country and the ICICI announcement marks its foray into a multi-bank model of partnership, mandated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The multi-bank partnership model guidelines were issued on March 2, 2020.Launched in April 2016, UPI, developed by NPCI, is a real-time payment system that allows users to transfer money across multiple bank accounts, without sharing bank details.