With recent demonetization drive by the Modi government, wallet services like PayTM, MobiKwik, Freecharge etc. are becoming popular even among common people. Earlier wallet services were popular only with online shoppers but now even street vendors started accepting payment via wallets.
With these wallets, payment is just a button click for most of the services like bill payments, movie tickets and even money transfer to your friends and relatives. Some providers even allow you to use their services offline and also without a smart phone. So the possibilities are unimaginable, wait and watch for India being transformed to a "Cashless" and "Digital" India!
Till now I was talking about the advantages of wallet services, no doubt all of you will agree that this is the first step towards a cashless economy. Now the question is, how good our rules and regulations are around these wallet services? Does the law enforce a dispute resolution mechanism to resolve issues of common man against the service providers? If we don't have regulations around these digital services, let me warn you, people will loose trust, they will go back to cash transactions, which used to be the safest method for them for years.
Let me tell you an incident happened to me last week. I tried making an online payment for a merchant via PayTM. Since I didn't have enough balance in my wallet, I opted for top-up via saved credit card, which redirected me to my bank payment gateway. I authorized my bank to pay PayTM and the browser redirected me to the merchant site via PayTM. Unfortunately the transaction failed, merchant site showed me a failed transaction message. No problem, this happens sometimes.
Next moment got a message from my bank saying the said amount is deducted from my account. I checked my PayTM wallet, which didn't have any entry for the failed transaction which worried me little. Even if a transaction is failed, normally it appears in the transaction history. Since I didn't have any reference number, thought will wait till it appears in my Credit Card un-billed transactions. After 2-3 days, it appeared in my card statement, but there was no reference number, it had just "PAYTM MOBILE SOLUT INR WWW.PAYTM.IN" in it.
Then I thought I will check with customer care, as usual, went to their website and searched for their customer care number. To my surprise, I could not find a toll-free customer care number there! Everywhere they were redirecting to their help page, which was of no use. Finally, after spending few minutes on their page, found a number (9643979797) at the bottom of the screen written in small font. Dialed the number, as usual, many options, finally got one matching my issue, but again got stuck as they wanted the order number, which was never provided. Spent couple of minutes on all the options but could not find a way to talk to their customer care.
As a last option, did a google search and got an email id "firstname.lastname@example.org", shooted a mail with the details. Thought at least I will get an automated reply, but no response from PayTm even after two days.
Another two days passed, to my surprise, got a mail from PayTM with subject "Payment confirmation received for Order R-59653-161205075347"! Finally got a confirmation from them saying my money is with them, a long sigh! And the mail said:
Your bank just confirmed a successful payment of Rs.1836.4 on Paytm against Order ID R-59653-161205075347. We will refund your money in case the order is cancelled. Please contact us at https://paytm.com/care if you have any queries.
Now I have at least the order number to track, otherwise it was like writing on water. Waited for 3 more days and finally money got credited to my account!
You might be laughing at me, "hey, its a small amount and you already will be knowing, all failed transactions takes up to 7 days to credit". Yes, I know it, but I never had an experience were money got deducted but there is no reference number to track it! And now we are talking about common people using these wallet services, do you think they will have the same mindset as yours? For them, every penny counts, even if its for a day, money missing from their account is not a fun for them. Also not providing an option to talk to the customer care is NOT ACCEPTABLE.