Google Pay Breaks Free Model: Introduces Charges For Recharges

Google Pay, with its 60 million active users, has started charging a convenience fee for mobile recharges. This shift breaks away from its original, cost-free model, where users just had to cover the telecom operator’s charges.

What’s up with these fees? Well, one user on the popular online shopping community platform Desidime, noticed something interesting. After a ₹749 Jio recharge on Google Pay, he got hit with an additional ₹3 charge. He took his findings to the DesiDime forums, and since he paid using UPI, we can rule out the usual credit card surcharges.

The convenience fee isn’t flat; it varies with the recharge amount. Here’s the breakdown: Nothing for up to ₹100, ₹1 for ₹101 – 200, ₹2 for ₹201-300, and ₹3 for anything over ₹301.

Google hasn’t made a big announcement about this, but a sneak peek into their updated Terms of Service for India on November 10, 2023, reveals a new term, “Google Fees.” While not explicitly stated, the timing hints at a connection to these new charges.

See also: India Made 19,600 Takedown Requests To Google In The Last 10 Years: Report

Why it matters? For now, these fees are just for mobile recharges. Other services like electricity bill payments on Google Pay are still fee-free, and so are UPI transactions, both personal and for merchants.

While these fees might seem small, they could add up, especially for users watching their budgets. This could set off a domino effect in the digital payment ecosystem, with other apps possibly introducing similar fees. But, there’s a silver lining: a potential price war that could ultimately benefit consumers.

Google Pay seems to be rolling out these fees gradually. For users looking to dodge these extra charges, recharging directly through the telecom operator’s app or website might be the way to go.

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