Mobikwik continues free topping up with credit cards in a smart move to upend Paytm

In a smart move, mobile wallet company MobiKwik said on Thursday it will allow consumers to top up wallets using credit cards without any additional charges. This comes a day after its bigger rival Paytm started levying a 2 percent fee for such transactions.

MobiKwik will continue to offer free uploading of money into their wallet for all users, including credit card users, it said in a statement.

"Post demonetisation, in order to boost the government's vision of cash-less India, the company had a stated policy of revoking fees on uploading money through credit cards and today the company reiterated its policy of continuity," it added.

MobiKwik currently serves over 55 million users and 1.4 million merchants. By the end of 2017, MobiKwik aims to increase its user base to 150 million and serve over 5 million merchants.

AFP image

AFP image

Coming at a time when Paytm may be facing negative sentiment from consumers, Mobikwik's assertion that it is offering the service free of cost is indeed a smart business move. The company which is reportedly looking for a valuation of $1 billion in the next round as against Paytm 's current estimated valuation of around $5 billion, seems to be taking aim at the  customers who may be disgruntled at its rival's unexpected move.

For Paytm, Mobikwik's attempt to reassert it's loyalty towards the government's demonetisation is likely to be more hurting. It has to be remembered that soon after the note ban announcement, Paytm had projected itself as a poster boy the transition to cashless economy, which, according to the government, was one of the objectives of the exercise.

For the uninitiated, Paytm said on Wednesday it will levy a 2 percent fee on for adding money to wallets using credit cards.

Defending its decision for the levy, Paytm had said it found multiple users using its platform to get free credit by using credit cards to top up their mobile wallets and transferring the money back to their bank accounts at zero transaction cost.

"Some financially savvy users (surprisingly many of them employees of national financial institutions) exploited this model to rotate money. This may surprise normal users like most of us but for a savvy user, it meant freebies at Paytm's cost," Paytm said in a blog post.

Paytm said it pays "hefty charges" when consumers use their credit card to card networks and issuing banks and therefore, if users simply add money from credit card to wallet and transfer the amount to bank, it loses money.

"Our revenue model requires users to spend money within our network and we make money from the margins available to us on various products/services we offer," the Alibaba-backed firm said.

The company has started levying the fee from yesterday. Adding money using other payment options like debit cards and net banking continue to remain free.

Also, Paytm said it would issue a discount coupon for same amount within 24 hours of adding money using credit cards.

With PTI inputs

Updated Date: Mar 10, 2017 08:14 AM

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