UPI-based wallet PhonePe will now allow bill payments and recharges on Airtel. A company spokesperson confirmed to MediaNama and announced the same via tweet.
— PhonePe (@PhonePe_) October 27, 2017
In January this year, Airtel was not accepting recharges from wallets, including PhonePe, as it sought to consolidate its online payment interfaces. In April last year, Airtel sent a press release saying that it would redesign its online recharge and payments interface and would integrate all mobile wallets on its website and other digital platforms like MyAirtel app. Customers would have these wallets as payment options along with other modes such as credit card, debit card and net banking.
As a result, payments from the PhonePe were not going through, as indicated by this Times of India report. Separately, PhonePe was also dealing with the block from ICICI Bank where customers could not link their bank accounts to the app or perform any transactions. The wallet and the bank resolved their fight next month.
At the time, Airtel had issued a statement that there was no redressal mechanism for wallets in the case of a failed transaction. “When there is a transaction failure during phone bill payment (with a bank), there is a streamlined redressal mechanism, customer care service, 24*7 call centre and immediate reversal of paid amounts. But with wallets that is not the case. We are finding it difficult to deal with wallets and might have to re-think our digital strategy,” Airtel had said. MediaNama has reached out to Airtel for a comment on the exact nature why payments were being blocked and will update once we hear from them.
Update: A spokesperson for PhonePe clarified that Airtel was not allowing payments from other mobile wallets as well. The story reflects the same.