Mobikwik, the e-wallet service is going to charge inactive consumers for “wallet maintenance charge” anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 140. This is the first time in the Indian market that an e-wallet service is going to do so.
The new policy was rolled out on Sunday evening and stands effective immediately. The charge will be levied if a user fails to reactivate the wallet after a seven-day notice period. Mobikwik executives said it will refund the money if a user reactivates the wallet even after the maintenance fee has been debited and does a transaction.
The move is already being criticized by the users. Chandan Joshi, who was made co-founder and CEO of payments business at Mobikwik last year, said, “We will charge you if you don’t even come back to the app and log in. If you come back even within 40 days of deduction of the maintenance charge, we will refund it to you,” said Joshi. He said the notification has currently gone to users who have been inactive for four-five years.
As per RBI’s rules, it is up to e-wallets to decide if they want to levy a charge on users for inactive wallets but a consumer can still complain to the regulator since this was not the policy when they joined the service, said the industry executives.
Mobikwik had a minimum transaction size of Rs 100 to reactivate wallets, but answering a query by Times Of India, Joshi said it is in the process of doing away with any minimum transaction size, based on consumer feedback.
“There are a lot of costs associated with maintaining these wallets. We are allowed to report inactive accounts to RBI but we can delete them only three years after reporting them. So, we have to start cleaning up accounts, we have to streamline everything for the future,” Joshi said.
He added the company’s intent is not to charge users but to filter out the inactive users. Mobikwik claims to have around 100 million users but industry sources estimate 70-80 million active e-wallet users across platforms.
Mobikwik’s major competitors such as Paytm, PhonePe don’t have any such policy and neither of them charges their customers for inactive wallets.