The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has revealed his latest digital payment initiative, e-RUPI.
With UPI gaining traction as a cashless, cardless, and convenient method of transferring funds from one account to another, The government of India has built upon the technology to create a way to give its citizens direct access to government schemes and benefits.
What is e-RUPI?
According to the official press release, “e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment. It is a QR code or SMS string-based e-Voucher, which is delivered to the mobile of the beneficiaries. The users of this seamless one-time payment mechanism will be able to redeem the voucher without a card, digital payments app or internet banking access, at the service provider.”
Essentially, how this differs from standard UPI payments is that e-RUPI provides prepaid vouchers to its users, using which one can redeem the various benefits the voucher is slated to provide. This also ensures that the payment to the service provider is only provided once the transaction is completed. This essentially cuts off the need for the presence of any intermediate service.
Also, according to the press release, e-RUPI was developed to provide its citizens with a way to receive aid from the government directly. Schemes such as “Mother and Child welfare schemes, TB eradication programmes, drugs & diagnostics under schemes like Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, fertilizer subsidies etc.” will be helped by e-RUPI.
The users will be able to redeem the voucher by scanning a QR Code received via SMS. Thus, the vouchers will require no external application or software. This is also said to reduce declined payments, as the voucher will already store the “money” inside it.
The way it seems to be right now, e-RUPI will require some personal identification to set up, whether Aadhar or other IDs like a license or voter registration. This way, forming a connection between a person, a phone number and an account will be possible, although that isn’t set in stone right now.
You can check out the official e-RUPI page by NPCI right here.