e-RUPI: India’s new welfare focussed digital payment

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched e-RUPI in another initiative to boost digital transactions in the country.

August 2, 2021

The e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payments.

The e-RUPI is a QR code or SMS string-based e-voucher that is delivered to the beneficiary’s mobile phone.

The e-RUPI can be used to provide drugs under schemes like Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.

The private sector can also use these digital vouchers for employee welfare programmes.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on Monday launched a digital payment platform called e-RUPI to ensure leak-proof delivery of welfare services to people across the country. “Today, the country is giving a new dimension to digital governance,” Shri Modi said during a video conference to roll out the new platform.

Shri Modi also said that the electronic voucher-based digital payment system will help provide targeted, transparent and leakage-free delivery. It will play a big role in boosting digital transactions and direct benefit transfers, he said, adding that as much as US$ 235.51 bn has been transferred to beneficiaries’ accounts via the DBT so far.

The e-RUPI is a person- and purpose-specific digital payment solution. It is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payments. It is a QR code or SMS string-based e-voucher, which is delivered to the mobile of the beneficiaries. The users of this 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. 

The new platform connects the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interface. It ensures that the payment to the service provider is made only after the transaction is completed. Being pre-paid in nature, it assures timely payment to the service provider without involvement of any intermediary.

Apart from regular payments, the e-RUPI can be used for providing drugs and nutritional support under the government’s mother and child welfare schemes, tuberculosis eradication programmes, drugs and diagnostics under schemes like Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, and fertilizer subsidies. These digital vouchers can also be used by the private sector for employee welfare and corporate social responsibility programmes.

“Not only the government, if any general organisation wants to help someone in their treatment, in their education or for any other work, then they will be able to give e-RUPI instead of cash. This will ensure that the money given by him is used for the same work for which that amount has been given,” PM Modi said.

The e-RUPI has been developed by National Payments Corporation of India on its UPI platform, in collaboration with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and National Health Authority. Currently, 11 public and private-sector banks support this new payment mode. These include State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank and Bank of Baroda.

According to industry stalwarts, this new mechanism aims to ease the process of social welfare schemes, thereby increasing the private sector’s efficiency in corporate social responsibility activities.  Industry body FICCI stated that this launch will enable the  government to connect sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner and without any physical interface. e-RUPI may completely negate any pilferage and ensure benefit to the industry.