Google Pay, a widely used online payment app among Indian users, has recently joined the ranks of PhonePe and Paytm in charging an additional fee for prepaid recharge transactions. This change marks a significant shift in the app's approach to monetization within India’s burgeoning digital payments industry.
With over 60 million active users, Google Pay, often referred to as GPay, is the second-most popular payment app in India. It has been highly regarded for its seamless P2M (Pay-to-Merchant) and P2P (Peer-to-Peer) UPI (Unified Payments Interface) transactions. Until now, users were only required to pay the amount charged by the telecom operator, enjoying a completely free service. This latest development indicates Google's exploration of new revenue streams in the digital payments sector.
Google Pay introduces a paid feature in India
Recent reports suggest that Google Pay users who opt for mobile prepaid recharges might soon incur a convenience fee of up to 3 rupees. With this move, Google Pay follows in the footsteps of other major players in the industry. It appears that the only way for consumers to avoid these convenience fees might be to purchase recharge plans directly from the telecom operators’ websites.
Currently, the imposition of these additional charges is limited to mobile recharges on Google Pay. Other types of transactions, such as utility bill payments, continue to be free of any extra fees. Moreover, there are no additional charges for UPI transactions on Google Pay, whether for commercial or personal use.
Google has subtly updated its Terms of Service for India on November 10, 2023, to reflect this change, although an official announcement regarding the new convenience charge has not been made.