Heavy Convenience Fees Blocking Cashless India, Say 3 of 4 Indian Consumers: LocalCircles
IANS 13 September 2022
Three in four consumers say excessive convenience fees for digital payments are coming in the way of cashless India, a report showed on Monday.
About 77% say they are being charged convenience fees for the majority of tickets/services procured online, according to the report by community social media platform LocalCircles.
About 93% want government departments and services like IRCTC to stop charging convenience fees. They also want caps on convenience fees charged for online tickets/service transactions.
IRCTC charges a convenience fee of up to 10%.
A convenience fee is a charge that consumers end up paying to digital service-providers for the service or the convenience they offer, which could be for payment of electricity, broadband, or railway or air tickets.
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made some comments on UPI (Unified Payments Interface) charging a transaction fee in future which was later clarified by the government, explicitly stating that UPI transactions will continue to remain free and platforms need to find other ways to monitise.
The survey revealed that 38% customers said they have been charged "Convenience fee for all services purchased online", 39% paid "convenience fee for majority of the services purchased online", and 18% were "charged convenience fee only for a few services purchased online".
There were only 2% of consumers who have "never been charged a convenience fee for services procured online", while 3% couldn't say.
About 75% consumers pay convenience or service charges for online purchase of tickets or services, though they disapprove of it.
Most consumers want convenience or service charges to have an upper limit as absolute value of Rs50 or 0.5% of transaction value.
"Currently, there are no rules to regulate 'convenience fee' in India, and most digital service providers continue to charge consumers such fees," said the report.
Consumers say that most service providers add convenience fees just before checking out or making the final payment and not share it upfront.
Undoubtedly, India has seen exponential growth in digital payments and pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital payments further.
"However, there is still a long way to go. In most tier 2, 3 & 4 towns, digital payments are still not the primary mechanism for payment; it is cash," the report mentioned.
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2 months ago
Payment platform are like monkey and two cats. swallow most while arbitrating
Kamal Garg
2 months ago
There cannot be a better nonsense case where IRCTC which is government company and a government appointed sole monopoly online ticket seller on behalf of Indian Rail, charging a convenience fee.
This must stop immediately.
2 months ago
Convenience fee for whom? When we pay our electricity or phone or gas bills by card instead of cash or cheque, the payee organisation benefits from not having-to incur processing cost of a cash deposit or cheque. Less staff at deposit centres, no shipping cash and cheques to the bank etc. And yet it is positioned as convenience fee payable by customers. This is plain and simple double dipping.
2 months ago
The convenience fees at least where mass people are using like bus tickets/train tickets and other govt transactions should be made free at least say for a transaction of say up to rs 2500 and over and above that may be a small percentage can be kept to start which over a period of time can be tapered down .
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