MobiKwik randomly blocks wallets: Customers face hardships

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More and more Indians are subscribing to electronic wallets for convenience and safety. Leading player in the segment, Paytm Wallet recently announced crossing 100 million users. MobiKwik is also a player in the wallet segment and attracts users with some good offers.

With growing adoption, wallet providers are responsible for ensuring that their users stay protected from possible frauds. This has led to them taking measures like blocking wallets if transactions look suspicious, users try to misuse privileges etc. However, if fraud protection measures are not implemented well, customers end up being victims. Today we bring to you the case of MobiKwik users which was brought to our attention by Mr. Justin Joseph.

Justin’s Case

Justin has been a MobiKwik customer for nearly a year now and a Paytm customer for a much longer period. In his own words, he was attracted to MobiKwik due to attractive cashback offers. He claims to have faced issues at MobiKwik with receiving cash back once but things largely went without issues until MobiKwik decided to abruptly block his account three days ago. Later he learned that Person-to-Person (P2P) money transfer could have led to this. Being an internet-savvy user, Justin discovered that MobiKwik has this process of blocking wallet access and seeks documents to unlock it. Proactively he sent out necessary documents and also raised a ticket for which a response was promised in 24 hours. But he never heard back from MobiKwik for three days. On pursuing the issue through facebook, he was asked to send the documents! Does no one check emails at MobiKwik? On reiterating the facts, he was asked to furnish new document i.e., bank statement. In fact, Justin had chosen to show only MobiKwik transactions on his credit card statement as he believed it must be sufficient and there is no reason for MobiKwik to know all transactions to unlock an account.

We had a few questions at this stage for Justin –

  1. Were your transactions high value in nature i.e., did you exceed Rs. 10000 worth transactions in one month? If yes, this demands KYC process based on RBI guidelines. Justin mentioned that the transactions didn’t cross that value and there are many complaints on MobiKwik’s facebook timeline that talk about blocked accounts. We verified a few complaints and there were users who were complaining about blocked accounts for several days now. Many of them even had big balances.29082015_17:18:27
  2. Do you use multiple accounts to gain more? Generally e-wallet providers try to restrict access if they detect such malpractices. Justin’s answer was negative and he held a single MobiKwik account.

Interestingly enough, once Justin threatened to go to the press to highlight the issue, the account was unblocked in less than two minutes. He did not even have to send a newer set of documents.


How did this happen when MobiKwik initially said the documents were invalid?  This shows that MobiKwik is not very serious about their own set of rules (we’re not sure what they are now!).

For our question to Justin on if he would continue to use MobiKwik, he mentioned that he is now skeptical, but will probably continue to use it with caution. After all one would not want to have a big amount locked when it is much needed.

Our Take

Based on the above responses and our observations, we notice that MobiKwik is indeed blocking accounts for no good reason.

  1. MobiKwik must not let transactions go through or alert customers immediately over phone / SMS / email just like banks if they feel certain transactions are done without the knowledge of actual user. Citing ‘suspicious transaction’ without revealing what was suspicious, is a bad way to go about blocking accounts.
  2. If MobiKwik wants customers to be KYC compliant to honor RBI guidelines, they need to alert customers over email / SMS in advance to upgrade accounts to KYC compliant ones. The accounts must not be blocked for long (subject to user providing necessary documents) as transactions might be impacted due to this lockdown.
  3. MobiKwik needs to honor resolution times. 24 hours must be the maximum time for resolution and not minimum

Readers, now the question is, did you face any such hardships with MobiKwik or any other e-wallet service? Let us know through comments.

Note: This story is based on customer inputs and there can be missing information in some cases. 

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