Post UPI outage, NPCI moots multi-bank approach for fintechs

Post UPI outage, NPCI moots multi-bank approach for fintechs
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
11 Mar, 2020

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has called on fintech players in the unified payments interface (UPI) space to remodel their payments partnerships with a multi-bank approach to ensure “full resilience” of the ecosystem.

“The last leg payment service providers also prefer to work with multiple parties to ensure high availability of payment systems. Where required, the payment providers identified alternative partner banks who quickly stepped in to address contingency requirements,” the Mumbai-headquartered organisation said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement comes shortly after platforms such as PhonePe and BharatPe crashed on Friday as a result of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) imposition of a moratorium on Yes Bank account holders.

Walmart-owned PhonePe shared an exclusive partnership with Yes Bank for UPI-based transactions. Its services were restored on Sunday.

BharatPe’s services were only partially hit, as it also has a tie-up with ICICI Bank.

Last week, RBI imposed a limit on Yes Bank, restraining customers’ withdrawal power to Rs 50,000 till April 3, as the bank failed to maintain enough capital.

However, the central bank also issued relaxations in exceptional cases such as weddings and for medical expenses.

In adopting the multi-bank system approach, the payment systems have minimal disruption and the non-Yes Bank customers can make payments for all their daily requirements, the statement from NPCI added.

Back in 2017, NPCI had advised large UPI payment app providers for the new model.

The umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in the country is an initiative of RBI and the Indian Banks' Association.

Related: UPI processes 1.3 bn transactions in February 2020

Apart from UPI, its retail payment products include RuPay card, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), BHIM Aadhaar, National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) and Bharat BillPay.