Paytm Mall has said that it has been hit with a cashback fraud in the range of Rs 5-10 crore. According to a company spokesperson, the fraud got detected with the use of a tool that Paytm developed in partnership with EY, which is a global professional services firm that was earlier known as Ernst and Young.
He also said that Paytm conducted a deeper audit after it found out that some of the smaller sellers were getting a large percentage of cashbacks offered at Paytm Mall. The audit also revealed that a number of employees had actually colluded with some junior employees of the company to earn the cashbacks.
The spokesperson told IANS that the fraud “is in the range of Rs 5-10 crore.”
We should mention that Paytm Mall is a brainchild of Paytm’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma. The platform’s losses have been increasing and in the financial year 2018, Paytm Mall posted a loss of Rs 1,800 crore on revenue of Rs 774 crore.
In addition to this, Forrester Research’s findings said that the market share of Paytm Mall fell from 5.6% in 2017 to 3% in 2018.
In a statement, Srinivas Mothey, Senior Vice President – Paytm Mall, said, “Our partnership with E&Y will help benchmark with global best practices as we build a technology-driven fraud prevention system to scale our operations. Our teams continue to work closely with E&Y to share our learnings and insights. We are committed to building a trusted commerce platform and will take strict action wherever needed.”
We should mention that Paytm Mall has admin, finance, business operations team and various other support functions. Its business operations team works closely with partnered merchants to plan and execute cashback offers and promotions. This is exactly what leaves scope for collusion.
Paytm Mall has also said, “The EY partnership will also undertake audit and fraud prevention using both human and Artificial Intelligence (AI).”
Paytm Mall has managed to raise over $650 million from Alibaba, Softbank and SAIF Partners, but it lags behind Flipkart and Amazon in terms of market share.
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