Mobikwik Trolls Paytm’s 2% Credit Card Fee By Giving Its Users An Extra 2% Cashback

This is what cut-throat competition looks like.

Paytm got itself into a bit of a pickle yesterday after announcing that it was going to charge a 2% fee for users who were recharging their Paytm wallets through credit cards. Paytm’s justification for this move made sense – the company said that some users were loading up their wallets using their credit cards, and immediately sending the money to their own bank accounts. They were thus using Paytm as a conduit to get instant free credit.

Paytm did offer a 2% voucher to offset the fee, but there was some concern over the new policy. Firstly, Paytm had said in its blogpost that “financially savvy users”, many of whom were employees of national financial institutions, were exploiting this model to rotate money. This led to some disquiet on Twitter, where people started wondering how Paytm knew where its users worked. People were also unhappy that this cashback could only be used on Paytm and not its partner sites. CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma had to send out nearly 20 tweets clarifying the new policy, and Paytm even created an FAQ page, and another small infographic to let its users know what the change was.

With all the attention trained on the number one wallet provider, Mobikwik didn’t lose the chance for some one-upmanship. It  came out with a cheeky little graphic highlighting how it had no such charge on its wallet. For good measure, it added the appropriately virtuous hashtag of #customerfirst.

But a few hours later, it came up with a clincher – Mobikwik said that not only was it not charging a 2% fee, it now had a discount code called 2PERCENT, where customers could get an extra 2% cashback when they recharged their Mobikwik wallet.

This undeniably makes Paytm look bad; while it’s charging a 2% fee for users to recharge its wallet, Mobikwik is giving them an extra 2% cashback when they do so.

This isn’t the first time Mobikwik has trained its sights on its bigger competitor. In the past, the company has trolled Paytm when its site was down, individually asking to every user who was complaining on Twitter to use Mobikwik instead. Its founder Upasana Taku has also called into question Paytm’s actual usage numbers, saying that it was exaggerating its reach by pasting “Paytm Accepted Here” stickers near media houses.

This latest salvo, though, is pretty hard hitting – the contrast between having to pay 2% and receiving 2% is an exceedingly clever marketing strategy.  Mobikwik has been very much a distant second to Paytm in the wallet stakes thus far, but it sure isn’t going down without a fight.