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Telangana now has an official wallet and it is setting itself up to fail

The Telangana Government has launched an official wallet for the state. Called T-Wallet, it can be used to make payments for both government and private transactions. The wallet has been integrated to government departments such as Mee Seva eGovernance platform, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Telangana State Northern Power Distribution Company Limited, Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Limited, and the RTA.

The Civil Supplies ePOS system is being integrated with T Wallet to bring all 16000 fair price shops into the system, T-Wallet’s page said. Note that government payments such as Aasara Pensions, MNREGA payments will be pushed to eligible respective citizen’s T-Wallet.

Note that many Jan Dhan bank accounts were opened so that MNREGA payments could be made directly into them. What will happen to these Jan Dhan accounts if the Telangana government pushing MNREGA payments to the wallet now? It is far more expensive to push the money to a bank account from a wallet. Paytm for example, charges 4% for non-KYC customers.

The wallet will support Telugu, Urdu and English. T-Wallet is available on the web, smartphone, feature phone and even offline. T-Wallet uses two-factor authentication, through Aadhaar + Biometric or Aadhaar + OTP to Aadhaar linked mobile number, for feature phones.

Note that T-Wallet has partnered with Transaction Analysts who are licensed by RBI to issue semi-closed PPI wallet.

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Charges for loading money 

The T-Wallet can be loaded through net banking, credit and debit cards, through cash at offline centres. However, under the terms and conditions, it mentions that citizens will be charged for load money in the wallet. For domestic credit cards  on Visa and MasterCard, it will charge 1.9% plus service tax. Credit cards on American Express will attract a charge of 2.75% plus service tax. Netbanking will have a charge of 1.6% plus tax. Debit cards will have a charge of 0.3-1% plus tax for different amounts.

Meanwhile, for spending, the T Wallet can be used only at a group of identified merchant locations and establishments which contract specifically with Transaction Analysts. It also mentions that charges levied by the merchant and by T-Wallet will have to be borne by the citizen

I haven’t found any wallet service where people are charged for loading money in India. And frankly, it doesn’t make any sense. Digital transactions are supposed to bring down the cost of a transaction, but T-Wallet is making it more difficult for people by adding costs for loading money. It’s almost as if they’re setting themselves to fail.

Eligibility

Interestingly, T-Wallet has age criteria and the wallet will be issued only to citizens of India aged 18 years and above. It adds that the citizen must be of sound mind when agreeing to the terms of use. T-Wallet added that in case multiple wallets are found at any point of time to a single person, the balances in all the wallets will be clubbed for the purpose of KYC validation. Action will also be initiated as per guidelines issued by the RBI

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