As the Yes Bank fiasco hit UPI-based transactions last week, PhonePe that was solely using Yes Bank's services worked overnight with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and ICICI bank to ensure all its services were up and running within a day. PhonePe, with close to 20 crore users, saw an extended service outage, which started immediately after the RBI moratorium on Yes Bank on March 5, lasting for nearly 24 hours. The company worked with the NPCI and ICICI bank, its new UPI partner.
All merchant payment settlements were restored by Friday noon and all consumer wallet, credit and debit card payments were restored by 3 pm, the company said in a statement. All UPI services were restored by Friday night, with PhonePe users continuing to use their UPI @ybl handles. "Friday was an extraordinarily difficult situation with little precedence. We are grateful to the RBI, NPCI, Yes Bank, and ICICI for working collectively to ensure that millions of our customers and merchants were not inconvenienced a minute longer than necessary," said Sameer Nigam, Founder and CEO PhonePe.
PhonePe employees had to work for 36 hours straight to achieve this. The platform processed transactions of over Rs 4,000 crore in 24 hours and saw its largest-ever volume of user traffic in a single day (with over 70 million app sessions). Several petrol pumps rejected most of the UPI-based transactions over the weekend, including Paytm, PhonePe, and GooglePay. Even BharatPe, which deploys QR codes at small merchant outlets, stopped functioning. Millions of users failed to make or receive payments because of curbs imposed on Yes Bank.