Sounds strange at first, right? Let us try to understand what is meant by that statement, which sounds so sweeping at first sight. Let me ask you, why do people use wallets? It is for convenience and instant payment, correct? Now what happens if your customer paid you through his wallet? Did you get the money immediately? Yes, but where did it go? Not to your own bank account, but to your wallet. Now if you want to get the money into your bank account, you have to pay a withdrawal charge which may range from 2 to 4%. This amount, at times, can be more than the actual profit you make on certain items.
High Transaction and Transfer Charges
Mobile wallet companies have been wooing merchants with several freebies, like no-set-up fees or no transaction charges for online money transfer transactions. However these are all short-time offers which were necessitated mostly by government regulations to promote cashless transactions. Any benefit offered can be withdrawn any time. The charges incurred by a customer on mobile wallets are in the range of 4%. Considering that the profit margins for a small traders or business are in the range of 8-10%, giving away almost half of their earning, does not make for good business sense.
Loss of Interest on wallet account balance
There is no interest given on the money that is held in the mobile wallets. For business this represents a loss on their working capital.
Limits to Cash Flows
Marginal traders and small vendors can not draw more than Rs. 25,000 from a digital wallet. This severely limits their cash flows and ability to generate more business.
Limits real-time Liquidity
The proceeds from a sale do not go directly to a merchant’s bank account, but to his mobile wallet account. To pay for his sales stock, he needs to withdraw the money to his bank account. This not only incurs delay but he has to pay certain transaction charges. This proves to be double-whammy to those who do not have deep pockets to run their business.
What is the solution that is better than mobile wallets?
UPI Payment App removes the inconveniences and the high cost associated with a wallet. It has all the advantages and convenience of a wallet plus many more advantages. The first benefit is that money i transferred directly and instantly to the bank account, without any wallet charges being incurred. Thus the Working Capital can earn interest from the moment is of transaction and the ‘capital’ starts “working”!
Other areas where UPI scores over wallets
In a way, UPI removes the ‘intermediary ‘mobile wallet and facilitates a direct transfer of money to your bank account from customer’s bank account. Unlike mobile wallets where the customer and merchant need to be affiliated with the same wallet company; in UPI they can have accounts in different banks. This interoperability features make UPI unique and very versatile.
Under UPI, neither the customer nor the merchant need to load any amount which sits idle, as it is a bank account to bank account transaction with the convenience of one-tap on the mobile. Mobile wallets are operated by private companies who are not bound by any banking regulations. UPI is facilitated by NPCI under the RBI’s supervision and norms. Moreover, it is a transaction involving scheduled banks. UPI enables safe and secure transactions through just an email like Virtual Payment Address (VPA).
Mobile wallets became popular in the ensuing crisis following demonetization, when currency notes of higher denominations were withdrawn from circulation. It was more of a knee-jerk reaction, rather than an informed deliberate preference. UPI with all its advantages is here to stay and flourish.