Paytm Mall said on Tuesday that it has been hit by a cashback fraud. This could be the range between ₹5-10 crore. It was detected through a tool that the company developed in partnership with the firm EY (formerly known as Ernst and Young), said a spokesperson of Paytm Mall. He said the company went for a detailed audit after it found that some small sellers were getting large percentage of the cashback offered at Paytm Mall.
The audit reportedly revealed that a number of employees were colluding with junior employees to earn the cashbacks.
“The fraud is in the range of Rs 5-10 crore,” the spokesperson told news agency IANS.
A brainchild of Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma the e-commerce platform’s losses have mounted and in the financial year 2018, the company posted a loss of nearly Rs 1,800 crore on revenue of Rs 774 crore.
According to Forrester Research, the market share of Paytm Mall almost halved in 2018 — to 3 per cent from 5.6 per cent in 2017.
“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,” Srinivas Mothey, senior vice president, Paytm Mall, said in a statement on Monday.
“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,” Mr Mothey added.
Over the past few years, Paytm has been bleeding massively in its online retail business and there is no respite in sight. Apart from admin, finance and other support functions, the company also has a business operations team which works closely with partnered merchants to plan and execute cashback offers and promotions leaving a scope for collusion.
“The EY partnership will also undertake audit and fraud prevention using both human and Artificial Intelligence (AI),” said Paytm Mall.
Paytm Mall is far behind the top two e- commerce players in terms of market share. They have a single-digit share against the top leaders which are commanding over 30 per cent market share.
Paytm Mall has so far raised over $650 million from Alibaba, SoftBankand SAIF Partners.