Twenty-four hours. That’s how quickly Walmart-owned payments unicorn PhonePe migrated from Yes Bank to ICICI Bank. Originally Yes Bank’s first payments app partner, PhonePe transitioned swiftly as the beleaguered bank lurched into darkness. Some would even say too swiftly.

After all, partner banks and third-party apps are incredibly intertwined. From payments infrastructure to taking care of settlements during payments, the relationship is an intricate tapestry. And, of course, there’s also the regulatory obstacle course that’s more snakes than ladders.

But PhonePe had to act quick because Yes Bank was a sinking ship. One which had slowly taken on water for months, but which was finally reaching the point of no return.


Arundhati Ramanathan

Arundhati is Bengaluru-based. She is interested in how people use money in the digital age and how new economies will take shape based on that interaction. She has spent over 10 years reporting and writing on various subjects. Previous stints were at Mint, Outlook Business and Reuters.

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