Digital payments and wallet company MobiKwik said that it will be investing Rs 400 crore over a period of five years to upgrade users to with full KYC (know your customer). Initially, the company will be investing Rs 100 crore for KYC of 2 crore users in the next 12 months.

The revised wallet guidelines from the Reserve bank of India (RBI) has set wallet players abuzz as many showed dismay with the increased KYC burden. By 60 days, all existing wallets need to be KYC complete while new wallets will have 12 months to complete KYC. Most wallets only ask for phone number, email address, and name during registration. These wallets without complete KYC have a limit of Rs 10,000  and following completion of KYC, the limits will be revised to Rs 1 lakh for every user. With increased KYC, wallets will be allowed to be interoperable

The company said that it will be contracting over 7,000 field staff and will be using Aadhar based e-KYC for the drive. Meanwhile, its main rival Paytm said that it will be hiring 10,000 staff for meeting KYC norms. MobiKwik CEO Bipin Preet Singh said that KYC cost per customer will be Rs 50. MobiKwik currently has more than 65 million wallet users.

Lack of clarity with RBI guidelines

Note that the RBI guidelines do not explicitly state that wallets will have to link Aadhaar for completion of KYC. What it does mention is that Prevention of Money Laundering guidelines for bank accounts will apply to wallets as well.

There is confusion among wallet players where they could perform regular KYC for users or if they have to perform Aadhaar eKYC. MediaNama has written to MobiKwik and other wallet players as well and will update once we hear from them.

Last week, users started reporting that Paytm, the largest wallet player in India, degraded accounts with KYC to a lower limit and wanted them to re-verify themselves using Aadhaar KYC. More details from Srikanth’s blog post.