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E-Rupi: A futuristic reform

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a new mode of contactless digital payment method, e-RUPI on 2nd August 2021 through video conferencing. What is e- Rupi and how does it work? Will it be a progressive step towards ensuring a systematic delivery of welfare services?

E- Rupi - the government's digital payment method is meant to secure seamless transfer of welfare benefits to the citizens, which will be utilized to push the vaccination efforts. It is a cashless and contact-less instrument that is based on a QR code or SMS-based e-Voucher. It connects the service administrators with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital mode without any physical interaction.

It is developed by the National Payments Corporation of India in collaboration with The Department of Financial Services, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and The National Health Authority. The payment platform will go live for the first time at a Covid vaccination centre in Mumbai.

How does e- Rupi work?

E-RUPI is an e-voucher, which will be delivered to the recipients as a QR code and SMS-string-based voucher through which finances will be instantaneously carried to their bank accounts.

Any government organization and enterprise can initiate an e-RUPI voucher through their partner banks.

The recipient will be required to show the QR code or the SMS message to the dealer, who will scan the same and a confirmation code will be received by the recipient on his mobile number. The latter then has to share the code with the dealer and the payment will be effective.

These vouchers are person and purpose-specific, i.e, in case they are delivered by the authorities for the purpose of vaccination, then, at that point, they can be reclaimed only for that.

Aimed toward bridging the technological gap among the unbanked population, the recipients or clients of this payment system won't need a card, advanced applications, or internet banking access to recover the voucher.

e-RUPI payment method is considered to be secure and will keep the details of the recipients confidential, keeping up with their privacy. The mechanism guarantees that the payment to the merchant is made solely after the transaction is finished. The framework is pre-paid in nature and henceforth, ensures timely payment to the dealer without the involvement of any intermediary.

The e- Rupi can be applied towards the delivery of the services under various schemes providing drugs and nutritional support under Mother and Child welfare schemes, TB eradication programmes, fertiliser subsidies, etc. Also, such vouchers can be leveraged by the private sector as a part of their social responsibility programmes. With all the stated benefits, it also contains a loophole- since the beneficiary is not required to disclose his identity, it can be claimed by anyone.

It is relied upon to be a progressive initiative towards ensuring a leakproof delivery of the welfare services to all the citizens.

By- Gauri Khanna


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