A few days ago, I reviewed a Digital Wallets and their aggressive cashback programs. The article included picture of a banner advert at a Reliance retail store where MobiKwik claimed “Save 15%”
I decided to test out the claim for myself and this is how it went: I downloaded the MobiKwik app and I loaded 600 rupees in my account and went to Reliance store and bought about ₹ 600 worth of items and checked out and paid using the app.
I got a quick email with the ‘cashback’ as promised. Yay! (or so I thought).
15% off or “save 15%” … I guess I missed the fine print. I went back and checked my MobiKwik SuperCash account
MobiKwik SuperCash fine print reads
“Only 10% of this balance can be used in a single transaction. For Recharge & Bill Payments, only 5% of this balance will be used for a minimum ticket size of ₹ 100. This can’t be transferred to bank or wallet”
What does this mean?
- If you spend ₹1,000, you will get ₹150 SuperCash into your account. However, “You will only be able to use 10% of this balance in a singe transaction.”
- I need to make another 10 transactions of at least ₹150 each to be able to redeem the “₹150 SuperCash”
- I need to track and spend another ₹1,500 before I can get the original “15% savings”
- I would effectively have spent ₹2,100 in 11+ transactions using MobiKwik
- If I happen to go to a retailer that doesn’t accept MobiKwik, I will loose out on the ‘SuperCash’
I am left scratching my head: is this how ‘cashback deals’ work? It isn’t just MobiKwik doing this bait-and-switch. And India’s digital consumers are clueless.