The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) moratorium on troubled lender YES Bank is disrupting services at some fintech partners, including Walmart India’s PhonePe, which depend on the private sector lender for their transactions. The central bank on Thursday imposed a month-long moratorium on crisis-hit YES Bank and capped withdrawals at ₹50,000 per account.
“We sincerely regret the long outage. Our partner bank (YES Bank) was placed under moratorium by the RBI. The entire team’s been working all night to get services back up ASAP (as soon as possible). We hope to be live in a few hours. Thanks for your patience. Stay tuned for updates!,” Sameer Nigam, co-founder and CEO of PhonePe, tweeted last night. On Friday evening, PhonePe assured its users on Twitter that its services will be back “really soon”.
PhonePe, which was acquired by Flipkart in 2016, is a part of Walmart after the Bentonville-based retailer acquired Flipkart in 2018. The BHIM UPI-based app, which lists more than 8 million merchants across 215 cities and gets 55% of its transactions coming from tier 2 and 3 cities, is the largest fintech player hit by the YES Bank crisis.
Meanwhile, other fintech firms that partner with YES Bank like Airtel Payments Bank and Bengaluru-based Razorpay say they were unaffected by the moratorium.
“Our payment gateway services are unaffected. While some other services may get affected; our team is reaching out to the affected businesses via email. Our team is working to ensure there is no disruption in services,” Razorpay tweeted on Thursday.
Airtel Payments Bank issued a similar statement on Twitter. Harshil Mathur, co-founder and CEO, Razorpay, told Fortune India that the company doesn’t rely solely on YES Bank for its business. It has other banking partners as well. “We are not really affected...customers who won’t be able to use PhonePe or Baharatpe will generally lose trust in the digital ecosystem, which is not good for anyone. All of us are working together to provide trust and security to the customers so they don’t have the feeling that their money is getting lost because of whatever is happening to the fintech ecosystem,” Mathur said.
Delhi-based BharatPe’s services were partially hit as well, but the fintech player is more insulated as it relies on other lenders like ICICI Bank for its transactions. BharatPe offers merchants a single interface for UPI apps like PayTm, PhonePe, Google Pay, BHIM, Mobikwik, Freecharge, True Caller, and others.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru-based business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform Udaan has advised the buyers and sellers on its site to not make any transfers, RTGS/IMPS/NEFT, to its accounts. It also advised merchants who use YES Bank accounts for settlement to update their bank account. The company said it has temporarily paused settlements to YES Bank accounts.
On Thursday, the RBI issued a notification saying it has, in consultation with the central government, superseded the board of directors of YES Bank for a period of 30 days “owing to a serious deterioration in the financial position of the bank.”
“This has been done to quickly restore depositors’ confidence in the bank, including by putting in place a scheme for reconstruction or amalgamation,” the central bank said.
YES Bank is facing a grave asset deterioration crisis which has escalated over the past few months. The troubled lender has been in talks with investors for an equity infusion that wasn’t successful. Yesterday, there were also unconfirmed new reports that the lender was being taken over by public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI), which was denied by YES Bank in a notification to the exchanges. The lender’s shares plunged 56% to end at ₹16.2 after a day of volatile trading on Friday.
Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required field are marked*