One of the leading UPI-based payment apps in India, Google Pay, has started charging a convenience fee for mobile recharges. Previously, the platform offered prepaid mobile recharges without any additional charges. Now, the company seems to have adopted the same strategy as its competitors Paytm and PhonePe and started charging users for prepaid recharges done through the app.
According to reports, Google Pay has started charging up to Rs. 3 convenience fees on mobile recharge plans of Rs. 100 and above. However, the convenience fee on mobile recharges is not applicable to all users and seems to be a selective experiment by Google Pay.
A tipster, Mukul Sharma, shared on X (formerly Twitter) that the convenience fee will vary depending on the recharge amount. Recharge plans below Rs. 100 will not include any convenience fee, while plans up to Rs. 200 and up to Rs. 300 will incur a convenience fee of Re. 1 and Rs. 2, respectively. Mobile recharges that cost more than Rs. 300 will carry a convenience fee of Rs. 3.
Currently, Google is charging a convenience fee only on mobile recharges, and other bill payments and UPI transactions are still free of charge on its platform. Google has not made any official statement related to the convenience fee. But this move may be an attempt by the billion-dollar company to make the platform more profitable.
Google Pay is not the first platform to introduce convenience fees on mobile recharges. Previously, PhonePe and Paytm started charging platform fees to the user for making mobile recharges and other payments. It seems the only way to avoid these convenience fees is to purchase mobile recharge plans directly from the telco’s website.