Mumbai: Mobile wallets company Mobikwik has withdrawn a scheme where it offered a “6% annual profit" to customers who maintain a monthly balance of at least 5,000 in their mobile wallets.

The company had launched the product on 1 June and had termed this as a marketing spin on its cashback schemes. The product, however, was very similar to interest paid on a savings deposit account, which wallet companies are not allowed to offer.

Mint had reached out to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 2 June, seeking its views on the product and whether it was permitted. The regulator responded on Monday evening and said the product is no longer being offered.

“Mobile wallet companies are not permitted to mobilise funds/deposits by offering cash back in nature of interest etc. To our knowledge the entity (Mobikwik) is no more allowing/offering such product," the RBI said in an email response to Mint.

“There were certain concerns on the language of the campaign that were flagged to us and we are working with the regulators in resolving these concerns so we can continue with the offer," Bipin Preet Singh, co-founder and CEO, MobiKwik, said in an email response.

All promotional messages regarding the 6% annual profit on Mobikwik’s website have been removed.

In February 2012, the RBI cautioned the public against gold loan lender Mannapuram Finance Ltd, which was accepting deposits from the public without proper regulatory approvals. The regulator said that people who continued to hold deposits with the NBFC after its caution letter would be doing so at their own risk.

Mobikwik also entered the micro credit business last month, by offering small loans worth 500-2,500 to customers who are in urgent need for cash during a transaction and are falling short. For this it has tied up with a consumer lending marketplace, CashCare.

If the annual profit product had stayed, Mobikwik would have been offering banking-like services, without having a banking licence. Mobikwik had applied for a payments bank licence to the RBI, but was denied one.

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