Monthly Archives: May 2015

FC Barcelona Vs Bayern Munich- Our Déjà Vu


Barca will take on Bayern this Wednesday night, giving football fans a chance to see Messi, Suarez and Neymar go up against Robben, Ribbery, and Lewandowski. Two years ago, almost to the day, this exact same fixture took place. And I remember being absolutely desperate to watch it live online.



I had two reasons for my desperation back then- First, I didn’t (and still don’t) have cable TV, so online streaming was my only way to watch that match. The second, more serious reason, was to test our startup’s hypothesis. At the time, not many believed that Indians would pay for premium online content. As it turned out, that live stream in 2013 was a hit in India. But it could have been much, much bigger had it not been for the massive friction in the payment process.




UEFA website listed Tensports as its India streaming partner, and even before we came up with a name for our startup, we knew we wanted Tensports as our clients. As it happens, Yippster now powers payments!

In contrast to 2 years ago, when I paid 2 (~Rs. 150 ) with my internationally acceptable credit card, payments this Wednesday night will be more accessible and have less friction. Anyone with a mobile phone with Vodafone, Idea, Uninor or Airtel will be able to enjoy this game.


Yippster has a stated goal of making payments easy and accessible for all content consumers. Our other, equally important, goal is to make telecom billing available for all online content and virtual goods sellers. No more spending time, money and effort on telecom operators: we want content sellers to focus on what they do best, while we handle their operator billing needs. Yippster offers an easy signup* based integration for everyone, and payout rates of up to 95%** for qualifying merchants.

Watching the game this Wednesday night will be a déjà vu for me. Our startup’s first dream would come a full circle, but we know we still have a long way to go. And we can’t wait for you to join us in our journey!


* We have Rs.99/- signup fee which can be waiveed if you send an email request to

**Merchants qualify when they make a certain number of transaction. Details available on request.

Digital Goods and Secure Payments: The Sweet Spot for Direct Operator Billing

E-commerce, and the might of VC money, is taking internet mainstream in India. More first time internet users came online in 2013 than the sum total of all Indians who had ever seen a website till 2009. Impressive growth, but now what? Are there any predictable trends?

First, cyber crime is likely to rise at a faster click than expected. New users are easy pickings for cyber criminals. With banks dispensing debit cards to the uninitiated, it is bounty time for cyber crime networks all over the world (Side note- if you want your bank account to be safe and save some annual charges in the process, insist on just an ATM card). Despite two factor authentication (OTP is flawed), growth rate of cyber crime in India still tops 100% year on year.


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Cash on Delivery will remain the mainstay payment method for Indian e-commerce. Forget about the ‘touch and feel’ and ‘peace of mind’ arguments, it just makes more sense for your money to sit in your account and accrue interest for the few days (few weeks if you are unlucky) that it takes the courier to deliver.

Intangible digital goods like e-books and e-music present a separate challenge. Credit and debit cards may seem like the only option for them, but they may actually be the worst option. This is because of the nature of digital goods- can be offered by anyone online, delivery can never be physically verified, and they typically involve very small value transactions. Many payment processors turn away digital goods sellers because the risks outweigh the revenues from such goods. Despite these challenges, the digital goods market is at a turning point in India and needs a safer and a smarter solution.

Direct Operator Billing offers a ready made solution. It is available to almost everyone and is less prone to fraud because of its ‘closed’ nature, i.e., no peer-to-peer and no way to cash out of the system.