Wallet company Paytm announced that it will be charging a 2 percent deposit fee from credit card users going forward. According to Paytm, this was being done to combat misuse of its zero-fee transfers, explaining that savvy users were rotating their cash through the wallet to earn essentially “free” money in the form of reward points. Paytm said that to ensure that genuine users don’t lose money, it will return the 2 percent charge in the form of coupons that can be used on Paytm.
Later, its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma clarified that the coupons can also be used on third-party sites to pay Swiggy or Uber, although this mechanism has not been activated yet.
As noted in the post announcing this decision, since November, Paytm has been allowing users to take cash out of the wallet to their bank accounts at no charge. Typically, cashing out has attracted a fee from wallets. At the same time, Paytm and other wallets haven’t charged fees for depositing cash into their systems. This meant that credit card users could fill up their Paytm wallets using the card, then transfer that money back to their bank accounts, at no charge. “They were not only getting free loyalty points which effectively is free cash but also getting access to free credit,” Paytm noted.
This would be subsidised by Paytm’s own costs, as the company pointed out.