Google Pay has reportedly begun charging users a convenience fee when they purchase a mobile recharge plan via the app's unified payments interface (UPI) service. After years of allowing users to recharge their prepaid plan and pay bills at no additional cost, it appears that the company has joined rival payment platforms Paytm and PhonePe in charging users for prepaid recharge payments made via Google Pay. The search giant is yet to make an announcement related to the introduction of convenience fees on its payment app.
A user recently reported on an online forum that Google Pay has begun charging a convenience fee for mobile recharge plans on the payment service. A screenshot shared by the user shows that Google added a Rs. 3 convenience fee to the Rs. 749 prepaid recharge plan from Jio. The screenshot indicates the convenience fee is inclusive of GST. The user adds that the convenience fee shows up for both UPI and card transactions.
Google Pay levied a Rs. 3 convenience fee on the Jio recharge transaction
Photo Credit: Desidime/ ankushthehero123465
Tipster Mukul Sharma revealed additional details of the convenience fees for the platform via X (formerly known as Twitter). Mobile recharge plans worth less than Rs. 100 will not be charged a convenience fee, while recharge plans that cost up to Rs. 200 and up to Rs. 300 will be charged Rs. 2 and Rs. 3, respectively, according to Sharma. Transactions worth more than Rs. 300 will charged a Rs. 3 convenience fee.
MySmartPrice spotted that the company updated the Google Terms of Service for users in India earlier this month and a Google Fees appears to address the new convenience fees. However, it is unclear whether the section was added recently as part of the November 10 update. "Fees may be applied to certain Transactions or use of Google Pay Services which include but are not limited to mobile recharges," the section states. Google's terms state that users will be notified of applicable fees before the transaction is completed.
The updated terms of service also states that fees might be determined by the company at its own discretion — Gadgets 360 staff members were not shown the additional charge when attempting to purchase Airtel and Jio recharge plans on Thursday.
It appears that purchasing recharge plans via the operator's website is the only way to avoid convenience fees. It is worth noting that Google Pay isn't the first payment service provider to charge additional fees for transactions. These charges were previously introduced by rivals Paytm and PhonePe, similar to other online services for ordering food online or booking movie tickets, as a means to monetise their payment platforms.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.
For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2024 hub.