Update: MobiKwik has updated its donation portal for Nagaland floods to ensure all user donations are contributed to the CM Relief Fund, according to Abhishek Singh, Commissioner & Secretary of Nagaland’s Chief Minister. The payments firm also said that it will add Rs 5 for every user transaction from their side to the CM Relief Fund, Singh said.
In a statement to MediaNama, Bipin Preet Singh, Founder and CEO said, “MobiKwik has all the requisite permission from the government to collect funds and help Nagaland in this hour of crisis. We are committed and have followed all due diligence. We have been closely working with the governments for various projects and for the social cause. Let me assure all our MobiKwik donors that every penny they have spent for this noble cause will reach to the beneficiaries. I appeal to all responsible citizens to come forward to help Nagaland come out of this situation.”
Original Story: In a Twitter post, Abhishek Singh, Commissioner & Secretary of Nagaland’s Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has said that MobiKwik’s donation portal for Nagaland’s flood is ‘unauthorized’ as they have been accepting funds on behalf of the government without the necessary approvals. According to Singh, MobiKwik has been accepting donations for the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority, an organisation which does not even have a bank account. Explaining his claims, Singh told MediaNama that “MobiKwik has a link which says that donations are for Nagaland state Disaster Management Authority. NSDMA is not collecting any donations. Donations for Disaster Relief are collected for CM Relief Fund and funds collected goes into the Designated Bank Accounts.”
According to Singh, while contributions by anyone are always welcome, an organisation has to consult the government and follow certain procedures to collect funds on behalf of the Chief Minister’s relief fund or the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority. “Paytm also wanted to contribute and we authorized them with clear SoPs for transfer of funds into our account. We don’t know where funds collected by Mobikwik are going. Hence it’s unauthorised and we won’t like any fraud to be played on gullible donors,” Singh told MediaNama. He said that payments to the CM Relief Fund have been enabled through NEFT, Credit Card, Debit Card, Netbanking, Amazon Pay, OLA Money, Jio Money and PayTM.
We reached out to MobiKwik for a comment, however, we received no reply at the time of publishing. We will update the story if/when we receive they respond.
Floods in Nagaland, and Kerala
Since July, Nagaland has been hit with incessant rains, causing landslides and floods, leading to the death of at least 12 people. Over two lakh people (which accounts for 13.9% of the state population) have reportedly been affected in the state, with many areas cut off from major towns and cities due to water-logging. According to the authorities, the situation is now under control as waters have receded, however, the state is expecting more rains through September. Media reports also suggest that the state has been crippled by the inadequate financial support from the centre, prompting the Chief Minister to take to Twitter.
In this context, it is worth noting that many payment services and digital companies such as Paytm, MobiKwik, Amazon, Zomato and Flipkart have initiated various programmes, including setting up portals to accept donations, to aid the victims of the recent Kerala flood. Paytm has said that it collected Rs 30 crore from its 12 lakh users in around one week after having announced that it will donate as much money from its side, as an individual user chooses to donate. Notably, it was perhaps for the first time, that a Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund accepted funds through UPI.