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PhonePe is an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company headquartered in Bangalore, India. It was founded in December 2015,[1] by Sameer Nigam, Rahul Chari and Burzin Engineer. PhonePe app went live in August 2016 and was the first payment app built on Unified Payments Interface (UPI).[2]

PhonePe Internet Private Limited
Founded2015; 4 years ago (2015)
Area served
ParentFlipkart (Owned by Walmart)

The PhonePe app is available in over 11 Indian languages.[3] Using PhonePe, users can send and receive money, DTH, recharge mobile, data cards, make utility payments, buy gold and shop online and offline.[4] In addition PhonePe also allows users to book Ola rides, pay for Redbus tickets, order food on Freshmenu, eaf,fit and avail Goibibo Flight and Hotel services through microapps on its platform.

PhonePe is accepted as a payment option across 5 million offline and online merchant outlets covering food, travel, groceries, movie tickets etc.[5] The app crossed 100 million user mark in June 2018[6] and also crossed 2 billion transactions in April 2019.[7]

It is licensed by the Reserve Bank of India for issuance and operation of a Semi Closed Prepaid Payment system.[8][9]


FxMart received its licence to operate on 26 August 2014. PhonePe was incorporated in December 2015. In April 2016, the company was acquired by Flipkart.[10][11] and as a part of the Flipkart acquisition, the FxMart license was transferred to PhonePe and it was rebranded as the PhonePe wallet. PhonePe’s founder Sameer Nigam was appointed as the CEO[12] of the company.

In August 2016, the company partnered with Yes Bank to launch a UPI-based mobile payment app, based on the government-backed UPI platform.[1][13][14]

Within 3 months of launch, the app was downloaded by over 10 million users. In 2018, PhonePe also became the fastest Indian payment app to get a 50 million badge on the Google play store. The PhonePe app overtook BHIM to emerge as the market leader in UPI transactions in August 2017.

Innovation and PartnershipsEdit

In October 2017, PhonePe launched a POS device built in India. The Bluetooth enabled POS device looks like a calculator and works with AA batteries. The hardware uses Bluetooth connectivity and enables payments through all the mobile devices that can access the PhonePe app.[15][16]

In January 2018, PhonePe partnered with Freecharge. This partnership has empowered PhonePe users to link their existing FreeCharge Wallets to the PhonePe app.[17] PhonePe has also entered into similar partnerships with Jio Money and Airtel Money.[18]

PhonePe also partnered with RedBus, Ola and Goibibo to launch micro-apps on its platform to build and deploy apps on its platform with a unified login and payments experience for users.[19]

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • 2018: recognized by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for driving the largest number of merchant transactions on the UPI network.[20]
  • 2018: Best Mobile Payment Product or Service Category at the IAMAI India Digital Awards 2018.[21]
  • 2018: Won the UPI Digital Innovation Award from NPCI in 2018.[22]
  • 2018: Won the SuperStarUp Asia Award in 2018.[23]
  • 2018: Awarded at the India Advertising Awards 2018 in the Telecom and Technology category.[24]
  • 2019: Won the ‘Best Mobile Payment Product or Service’ at the 9th India Digital Awards 2019 organised by IAMAI.[25]
  • 2019: 'Best Digital Wallet' Initiative at the Indian Retail and eRetail Awards 2019.[26]
  • 2019: Awarded the 'Best Digital Wallet' initiative at the 8th Annual Indian Retail & eRetail Awards 2019 organised by Zee Business and The Economic Times.[27]

Legal challengesEdit

On 14 January 2017, ICICI bank blocked PhonePe transactions, citing the reasons that it did not meet the NPCI guidelines.[28][29] Initially, on 19 January 2017, NPCI instructed ICICI to allow UPI transactions via PhonePe.[30] During this period, Airtel too blocked PhonePe transactions on its platforms.[31] A day later, on 20 January 2017, NPCI renounced the previous instructions citing the reason that PhonePe indeed violated the UPI norms.[32][33][34]

After this, PhonePe closed its operations on Flipkart's website,[35] to align itself with the terms stated in the updated verdict from NPCI. By February, 2017, PhonePe resolved the issues with ICICI.[36][37]


  1. ^ a b c d "Tech in Asia - Connecting Asia's startup ecosystem". Tech in Asia. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  2. ^ Sen, Anirban (10 January 2017). "Flipkart's PhonePe crosses 10 million downloads on Google Play Store". Mint.
  3. ^ Pai, Vivek (15 November 2016). "Opportune & Opportunistic: Paytm's app adds 10 Indian languages, merchant locations". MediaNama.
  4. ^ Dasgupta, Brinda (23 March 2018). "Payments platform PhonePe looks to double its team". The Times Of India.
  5. ^ "PhonePe's offline merchant base crosses 5-million mark". The Financial Express (India). 21 June 2019.
  6. ^ "PhonePe crosses 100 million users". The Hindu. 2 June 2018.
  7. ^ "PhonePe crosses 2 billion transaction". Daily News and Analysis. 15 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Reserve Bank of India - Publications". Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Terms of user | PhonePe". PhonePe.
  10. ^ Reporter, B. S. (2 April 2016). "Flipkart buys mobile payments company PhonePe for an undisclosed sum". Business Standard. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Flipkart acquires former executive's startup PhonePe for payments push". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  12. ^ "Sameer Nigam: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  13. ^ "7 things you must know about the PhonePe app from Flipkart". Flipkart Stories. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  14. ^ "YES BANK and PhonePe have Partnered to Launch India's 1st UPI Based Mobile Payment App - Press Release". Yes Bank. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  15. ^ Dalal, Mihir (1 November 2017). "Flipkart's PhonePe launches PoS machine for small merchants". Mint (newspaper).
  16. ^ Allirajan, M (31 October 2017). "PhonePe launches Made for India POS device". The Times of India.
  17. ^ "PhonePe strikes strategic partnership with FreeCharge". Business Standard. 9 January 2018.
  18. ^ "PhonePe adopts FMCG approach for tie-ups with local merchants". The Hindu Businessline. 19 February 2018.
  19. ^ Chaturvedi, Anumeha (11 October 2018). "OYO partners with payments platform PhonePe". The Times of India.
  20. ^ "PHONEPE Becomes Largest UPI Player, Leaps Ahead Of PAYTM AND TEZ". Digit. 2 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Payment and Fintech Awards". Iamaiida.
  22. ^ Kannan, Uma (6 August 2018). "PhonePe eyes top slot in digital payments". Deccan Herald.
  23. ^ Verma, Amit (30 May 2018). "Second Edition of SuperStartUps Awards concluded in Delhi on 30th May". StartupSuccessStories.
  24. ^ "MullenLowe Lintas Group and Ogilvy dominate the IndIAA Awards". Campaignindia.
  25. ^ "IAMAI - India Digital Awards". IAMAI.
  26. ^ "Best Digital Wallet". Irec.
  27. ^ "Indian Retail & eRetail Congress 2019 - Awards Winner". IReC Asia.
  28. ^ Sen, Anirban (14 January 2017). "ICICI blocks PhonePe transactions in sign of banks moving to protect payments turf". Mint. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  29. ^ Peermohamed, Alnoor (16 January 2017). "ICICI Bank blocks transactions through Flipkart wallet PhonePe". Business Standard. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  30. ^ "NPCI instructs ICICI to allow UPI transactions on PhonePe immediately". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  31. ^ "After ICICI Bank, Airtel also blocks PhonePe - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  32. ^ "NPCI says Flipkart's PhonePe does not follow UPI rules - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  33. ^ IANS (21 January 2017). "PhonePe app in breach of UPI guidelines: NPCI". Business Standard. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  34. ^ PTI (20 January 2017). "PhonePe in violation of UPI norms, says NPCI in U-turn". Mint. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  35. ^ Nair, Vishwanath (21 January 2017). "PhonePe stops all UPI-based payments on Flipkart website". Mint. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  36. ^ "ICICI Bank resumes UPI transactions on PhonePe - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  37. ^ "Flipkart's PhonePe resolves issues with ICICI, claims 70x growth". Retrieved 20 February 2017.

External linksEdit