Is eSewa secure to use?

esewa payoneer fraud secured payment

Tonight, I was expecting a transaction amount of Rs. 12100 to my eSewa account. I got the notification as well. That’s when I transferred back the money to Payoneer that I had promised. Turns out, I hadn’t received the balance on my eSewa. It was on hold. And, the hold was withdrawn/reported already by the sender due to which I couldn’t receive the balance.

I spoke with the eSewa support regarding my issue. They talked very decently as you would expect an ideal customer support representative to speak. They seem to have a new feature called “secured payment”. They said that I would receive the balance if I really deserve that. But, they have to confirm that by making a call to the other party. 

That’s fair enough.

It has been over six hours but, I don’t think the other party has received the call.

What happened?

Date: 1/6/2022

There’s a lot of things that happened. Let me break down everything in a little more detail now.

I usually get the payments for my remote work via Payoneer (through Upwork regularly or sometimes direct to Payoneer). I withdraw the USD to my bank immediately when I need the money. And, usually, I want to have the Payoneer balance to help out other fellows here who might need the USD directly to their Payoneer account. Because Nepal has several limitations on using the MasterCard and other online payments. And, to be honest, I can also trade at a slightly higher price than the USD exchange rate by NRB.

So, that’s why I choose to trade the currencies instead of directly withdrawing to my bank.

So, tonight, upon request, I made the payment via Payoneer exactly when I got the notification of me receiving Rs. 12100 to my eSewa account. 

Right after I made the payment, I checked my eSewa balance, there was no increment. I was shocked. I refreshed. Nothing changed.

Then, I saw a small (1) on the bottom of the “send money”. I clicked there. It showed Rs. 12100 on hold. I claimed that, but the other party didn’t release it. I couldn’t stop my transaction that already went through via Payoneer.

That’s when I realized that I had fallen for the feature of eSewa that I shouldn’t have trusted just with the notification.

The contacts involved here:

  1. Viber contact – asked for the payment and was sending me the screenshots and the email address for the transaction. Basically, all the conversations that I had before was with him.
  1. eSewa – the person who made the payment and did withdraw the payment. I call this contact different, because he has a different contact name and he also has a different number.
  1. Me – who fell for the new feature of eSewa expecting the notification as the balance received

The eSewa support has shown good confidence regarding the transaction going through. They had said that they are going to make an immediate call to the other party, but it has been several hours and there has been no sign of response yet.

I still haven’t given up my hope yet. Well, why should I?!

However, inspecting all this, raises an obvious question: Is eSewa secure to use? Please, feel free to share your thoughts on this too.

Anyways, it’s 3 am in the morning and I’m still expecting to hear from eSewa. #fingerscrossed

I’ll post about the response from eSewa on this same post, right underneath it.

Update 1/7/2022 – Noob customer support experience

I made a call to eSewa support again in the morning (9:21 AM). The call lasted for 10 mins 1 sec. Some female representatives asked for my details.

I provided her with whatever she asked for. She was asking me to stay connected but the call got disconnected. Without any conclusions.

I expected a call back for some time. But, I didn’t hear back from them.

Update 1/7/2022 – Conversation with Hira

After some time, I made the call at 9:43 AM. Someone else answered. This time the answerer was a male and he said that I won’t receive the balance.

Later on, I explained to him why eSewa is trying to promote the fraud instead of acting responsibly. Then he asked if I have been able to reach out to the sender. I said no.

Then, he said that he would call me back.

A few minutes later, now I have received a call from Hira. He says that I haven’t sent him the balance. But, I have sent him the proof of money transfer on WhatsApp (the screenshot from Payoneer).

I am waiting for further response.

Update 1/7/2022 – Response from eSewa

I received a call from eSewa at around 4:14 PM. I was asked to send the proof of the USD payments that I had made. I sent all of it via Viber as they asked.

They informed me that they have sent it to the dispute department and will update me soon.

I waited for a few hours. I didn’t hear back, so I called.
The customer representative was so very humble at this time and said, “Sorry that it is taking so long. We already have sent it to the dispute department. The dispute department is going to have communication with both the parties, so please give us some more time.”

He meant to say that, tomorrow is Saturday, and they couldn’t update me any sooner than Sunday. In a very soothing way.

The wait continues.

PS The name Sandeep has been changed to Sunny, on Viber.

Update 1/12/2022 – eSewa promoted fraud

I was always in contact with the eSewa support. They always said that our dispute team will look into it and will follow up with the issue. Please, wait for a little while.

Finally, I heard back from them. And, it is not good news.

Not for me, at least.

This act by eSewa shows the victory of the fraud.

This is not the support that I had expected. They didn’t seem to put much investigation into this. I had sent them plenty of proof regarding the transaction. They had said that they would contact me before settling the transaction. But, I was notified by the eSewa notification. I didn’t receive the call/message before they did this.

Here’s the screenshot of the notification of the dispute being settled (but me not getting balance).

eSewa could have prevented this. But, they didn’t want to put much effort into this, because, they are the first and still the dominating digital wallet service provider in the country. As a matter of fact, they are even older than PayTM.

I called the toll-free number 1660-01-02121. It was busy, obviously. Then I called on the other number 071-503426.

I spoke with a lady. She heard my problem and said that I had to communicate with the other party to settle the matter by myself.

Well, if I could settle the matter of fraud by myself, then why would I even ask for help from eSewa?! What a dumb thing to suggest.

“There is no mutual co-operation and conversation of any kind, so I am unable to settle the dispute, and that is why I’m asking you. Why are you promoting fraud?”, I said.

As always, I heard back, “we have sent your concern to the dispute department who had looked into your issue and will respond to you back shortly.”

That’s the sad update until now.

By Dinesh Roy

I endorse everyone who is working for a cleaner and greener future. Earth is our home. Let's take care of our family and it's future by boycotting non-renewables as much as we can.

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