What is e-RUPI?

e-RUPI is being referred as the first step towards having our central Bank digital currency in the country. But before explaining anything about e-RUPI, let me clear two things:
• It is not a digital currency like Bitcoin or dodge coin
• And, it is not a digital payment technology like UPI
e-RUPI is not any platform. It is an electrical voucher based digital payment system meant for specific services.
The platform has been developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), department of financial services, Ministery of health & family welfare and the National Health Authority. It will be a purpose specific and person specific payment system. How? Let’s discuss.

How will e-RUPI work?

e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless digital payment medium, which will be delivered to mobile phones of beneficiaries in form of a SMS string or a QR code.
This will essentially be like a prepaid gift voucher that will be redeemable at specific accepting centers without any credit or debit card, a mobile app or internet banking.
e-RUPI will connect the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and services providers in a digital manner without any physical interface.
8 Banks are already live with e-RUPI: SBI, HDFC, Axis Bank, Punjab National Bank, IndusInd Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and ICICI Bank.

Use and Benefits of e-RUPI

1. According to Indian government, e-RUPI is a leak proof delivery system of welfare schemes. Leak proof means, now it will be ensured that financial aid provided by government for a necessary service will not be used elsewhere. Let’s understand it by an example:
Suppose a girl student has been given scholarship or any other financial support by the government for continuing her studies, it is highly possible that her family does not use that aid to continue her study. Her family may collect this money for her marriage or her father can be a drunkard and use that spend that money on alcohols. But now, with the e-RUPI being a purpose specific electronic voucher, can not be used elsewhere. Instead of sending money in her bank account, government can send an e-voucher(e-RUPI) on her phone.
2. It can also be used delivering services under schemes meant for providing drugs and nutritional support under Mother and child welfare schemes, TB eradication programs, drugs and diagnostics under schemes like: Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana etc.
3. Even private sector can leverage these digital vouchers as part of their employee welfare and corporate social responsibility programs.
4. Person who is buying the vouchers and issuing them to other can track the utilization of vouchers.
5. Privacy is another issue as beneficiaries would not have to share their personal details.
6. It will also guide the future planning of central bank digital currency.
e-RUPI is a voucher meant for specific services and even if one does not have any bank account or a digital payments application or even a smartphone can get benefits from these vouchers.

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