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Shocking: GooglePay is not free anymore

Friday, November 24, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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Users have long appreciated the convenience and diverse services offered by the Google Pay app for various transactions. However, a recent development has left many surprised and somewhat disappointed. Google Pay has now implemented service charges, departing from its previous free-of-cost model.

Reportedly, users are now facing convenience fees when utilizing the app's unified payments interface (UPI) service to purchase mobile recharge plans. This move aligns Google Pay with rival platforms such as Paytm and PhonePe, which have been charging users for similar transactions. Despite this change, Google has not officially announced the introduction of convenience fees on its payment app.

According to a user's report on an online forum, Google Pay is imposing a Rs. 3 convenience fee for mobile recharge plans, as illustrated by a screenshot displaying the additional charge for a Rs. 749 prepaid recharge plan from Jio. This fee, inclusive of GST, applies to both UPI and card transactions.

Tipster Mukul Sharma has shared further insights, revealing that mobile recharge plans below Rs. 100 won't incur a convenience fee, while plans costing up to Rs. 200 and Rs. 300 will be subject to Rs. 2 and Rs. 3 fees, respectively. Transactions exceeding Rs. 300 will face a Rs. 3 convenience fee.

The updated Google Terms of Service for Indian users, noticed earlier this month, now includes a section addressing these new convenience fees. Although it remains unclear whether this section was added recently, it emphasizes that users will be informed of applicable fees before completing a transaction.

The terms also indicate that fees may be determined at the discretion of the company. However, some users reported not being shown the additional charge when attempting to purchase Airtel and Jio recharge plans, suggesting a potential inconsistency in fee application.

Interestingly, one way to circumvent these convenience fees seems to be purchasing recharge plans directly from the operator's website. It's essential to note that Google Pay's move to charge fees isn't unique, as other payment service providers, including Paytm and PhonePe, have previously implemented similar charges to monetize their platforms.

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