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Google Pay Restricts App After Yes Bank Seizure Disrupts Payments Rails In India

Yes Bank cards

Google Pay, the leader in India’s instant real-time payment system Unified Payments Interface (UPI), temporarily turned off its app’s “check account balance” feature during PhonePe’s outage.

PhonePe’s users experienced an extended service outage following the moratorium on Yes Bank imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on March 5, lasting for nearly 24 hours reports indicated on Friday (March 6).

PhonePe used Yes Bank's services and worked overnight with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and ICICI Bank to ensure all its services were up and running in 24 hours.

“All merchant payment settlements were restored by Friday noon and all consumer wallet, credit and debit card payments were restored by 3 p.m.,” the company said in a statement. PhonePe employees worked 36 hours straight to restore services.

“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 of PhonePe.

Despite the restoration of service, several petrol pumps rejected most of the UPI-based transactions over the weekend, including Paytm, PhonePe and GooglePay. Millions of users failed to make or receive payments because of curbs imposed on Yes Bank.

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).

UPI is an instant real-time payment system developed by NPCI to facilitate inter-bank transactions. The interface is regulated by the RBI and works by instantly transferring funds between two bank accounts on a mobile platform.

Google Pay tweeted that turning off the “check account balance” feature on its app did not affect normal UPI payments on its platform. The digital payments platform has been performing a phased rollout of UPI payments service to its customers, since this evening, to avoid any technical glitches on the platform. 

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