The previous blog post decoded the economics of UPI led BNPL. If you haven’t already read that, please do so now, as it provides the necessary context for this post.

BNPL companies gaining ground

However, UPI is not the only form factor to offer BNPL. If anything, NPCI has taken a view that UPI cannot be used to offer BNPL without an underlying bank account (an overdraft account). On the other hand, the regulator has restricted the issuance of credit cards to only the banks (there are exceptions to this rule. RBI has permitted two non-bank entities, to issue cards: BOB Cards and SBI…

Credit based payment instruments such as credit card, BNPL can be useful in exactly one of the two ways. (1) convenience of a tab (2) borrowing money to fund the transaction. When a person is purchasing something, there are only two distinct possibilities: (a) the person has enough and more money to fund the purchase themselves (b) the person doesn’t have enough money or is facing is a crunch scenario now or in the near term.

In scenario (a), the person uses one of the normal payment methods they often use: credit card / debit card / UPI. The exact…

It is not a question of if but when.

In this series, I will explore the various causes that will inevitably push India towards the world of digital payments.

Digital Payment methods for Consumers

Broadly speaking, there are two different channels: online and offline. In the online world, the payments are digital by default. Barring commerce goods where cash on delivery is still accepted, one cannot transact online without making the payment upfront. In the offline world, there are only 2 major payment methods available for the customers: cards and UPI. For a variety of reasons, the usage of cards did not grow significantly. …

In the year 1958, Mao Zedong launched the campaign Great Leap Forward. The central aim of the campaign was to finance industrialization by introducing radical & controversial changes to agriculture. Collective farming was at the core of this ideology. The orders came down from the top and the results were communicated from the ground to the Politburo.

Agriculture had become Govt’s business now, and the Govt was eager to show great results. Everyone in the administration were eager to please. The initiative was a failure due to a myriad of reasons. Despite dwindling figures, local officials, in an attempt to…

Regulations can make or break companies and sometimes even industries. Take the example of auto sector in our country which is in a lot of distress due to evolving policies. In the payments industry, a regulation from RBI has the power to change the dynamics overnight. We have seen this happen time and again with a host of regulations pertaining to 2FA, UPI, Wallets, etc..

RBI’s recent circular on Recurring Payments has most everyone in the payments industry wonder if this unshackles the market for recurring payments. On immediate glance, it seems so: (1) opening up for all sectors (2)…

Ahmedabad is an interesting city for many reasons. But on that day, I was destined to be at the prestigious Indian Institute of Management for interaction with the students perhaps for encouraging them to take up entrepreneurship. The hall was named after the founders of TaxiForSure (acquired by Ola) “Raghunandan and Aprameya”. Fabulous!

It was on the 5th of July. The Finance Minister was presenting the budget in the Parliament. While we know that Digital Payments is an agenda that is very close to this Government, what did come out of the budget was quite a surprise.

During my conversation…

It was the year 2008. I was working for then. We were ruffling through the Alexa pages to find the top sites of the country. For the uninitiated, this is how we used to figure out the internet traffic trend in the country: find it here. The websites of the top banks such as HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank featured amongst the very top in the country then. It made sense for to partner with the Banks and grow the business by serving the customers who were landing in the Banks’ websites.

Fast forward to 2019, even today…

RBI has published Vision 2021 for Digital Payments in India. This is available here to view / download.

Please note that the views expressed here are my personal views.

Outlining the Vision for 2021

Empower every Indian with access to a bouquet of e-payment options that is safe, secure, convenient, quick and affordable.

Vision 2021 concentrates on a two-pronged approach of, (a) exceptional customer experience; and (b) enabling an eco-system which will result in this customer experience.

For a moment, I couldn’t believe I was reading a document from the RBI. To see that the RBI has put customer experience on the forefront is a…

Recent reports have indicated that all three major UPI apps — Paytm, PhonePe & Google Pay have been contributing significantly to the growth of the app. A million dollar question is: who is leading the race?

We are leaving the following apps out of the race for now: WhatsApp, Amazon. For now, they are on the bench. They will certainly emerge as one of the top apps in the near future.

Paytm seems to have an edge over the other two albeit with a thin margin. However, I would like to evaluate it with more context. Paytm and PhonePe have…

Eero, a hardware startup, was in the news recently for two major reasons — (1) acquisition by Amazon (2) their ESOPs. The company is engaged in the business of producing mesh routers and was acquired by Amazon to strengthen the hardware play. The acquisition price was $97 million.

Ramanathan RV

2x Founder -,

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