UPI – First thoughts – Micro Payments, Content Monetization, Experiment

NPCI along with banks have recently launched UPI. Much of the action till now has been the apps that have hit the app stores and people reserving vanity VPA (virtual payment addresses) and transacting using VPAs instead of account numbers, IFSC code, MMID and whole lot of strings which makes payment a cumbersome process. With VPA, its as simple as sending an email / clicking few links / scanning barcodes to pay. (Experiment :- I shall give you the option to pay me through UPI for reading the post at the end).

What is UPI and how is it better than wallets?

UPI makes peer-peer payments very easy through mobile. Even the sloppiest of UPI apps that are out there provide richer experience than the fanciest of the wallets that are out there. This is because of the strong back end which powers UPI and the fact that it links to your bank account instead of digital silos of companys. UPI rides on top of IMPS, an instant payment system which makes real time transfer between 2 bank accounts without the requirement of actually knowing account number (MMID and mobile number give privacy without the need to share account number, which MMID, mobile number combination makes the transaction fail safe and uniquely identifies beneficiary. UPI rides on top of this layer where it hides even the MMID and mobile number and gives a human readable email address like virtual payment address (VPA). A user can create countless VPAs through any of Payment Service Provider (PSP) apps.

Use cases

  • Daily payments to kirana store, restaurant, taxi / auto guy.
  • Recurring payments to landlord / extended family.
  • BBPS – Bharat Bill Payment System will ride on top UPI making payment of utility bills through UPI seemless.
  • Content Monetization (Pay per blogpost, youtube video, soundcloud song) and Micro Payments.
  • Charity / Fundraising.


The biggest positive about UPI is that it relies back on a solid API and is a mobile first / tech first solution to the problem of payments.

Content Monetization

This has been a biggest challenge for creative industry digitally. Unable to receive small amount of money from a large audience base to have stream of income for content creators. While advertising models are currently paying for all those youtube video makers, bloggers, there is no seamless micro payment option available till date to say pay ₹2 for a blog post. Wait no more. UPI has a deep linking specification which lets you create links / qrcodes which let you pay small amount with just 2 clicks. I am putting down a link and QR Code which would let you pay me ₹2 with few clicks / scans if you have a UPI app installed on your mobile phone. All one needs is to generate a URL using VPA, amount, comment

If you are reading from mobile click upi://pay?pa=logic@axisbank&pn=Srikanth L&tn=Liked your UPI Blogpost &am=2.

If you are reading from desktop / tablet, open your mobile phone which has an UPI app and read QR Code below through scanner.

Please let me know if you have difficulties making payment in the comments section. I shall report on results of the micro payments experiment in my upcoming blog post. Be a part of history in making a micro payment for a blogpost. In my subsequent blog posts, I shall write about whats not rosy about UPI, a tool am making for generating UPI links. Stay Tuned

Comments 7

  • I dont have a smartphone / I can not install Apps from bank as I dont have a SIM card in my smartphone.

    Is there any possibility for making micro payments with my computer only?

    • It should be possible in near future. When PSP provides desktop apps and any upi:// url scheme gets launched in that app instead of browser and you can input your mobile PIN (MPIN). You might still need your SIM registered with mobile banking where the bank could send an OTP. The desktop solution is yet to implemented by any of the PSP.

  • Hey.. Srikanth..
    I made a payment to you from sureshway@andb……!!!
    Would like to connect with you to have a discussion on UPI.

    Thanks to ping ur details….

    • Pinged you my email ID on twitter. Btw, seems like the transaction didnt go through or i have not got any UPI payment in. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Nice one.. made the payment.. Keep it up

  • It worked. I did not see a reason why it should not work. But the catch is that UPI which is free now, in future is going to charge a fee that may be around 2 rupees or more than that!

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