What is e-Rupi and its Significance?


On August 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a cashless and contactless method for a digital payment service known as e-RUPI. In association with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and National Health Authority, National Payment Corporation of India developed a QR code-based or SMS string-based e-voucher.

It links the sponsors of the services with the mobile of the beneficiaries and service providers with no physical mechanism. A user will reclaim the voucher without a card, digital payments application or internet banking access.

The Prime Minister Office states that it is prepaid in nature which will help timely payment to the service provider without intermediary interference. Its purpose is to have a leak-proof delivery of welfare services.

“It can also be used for delivering services under schemes meant for providing drugs and nutritional support under Mother and Child welfare schemes, TB eradication programmes, drugs and diagnostics under schemes like Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, fertilizer subsidies, etc. Even the private sector can leverage these digital vouchers as part of their employee welfare and corporate social responsibility programmes,” the PMO said in its official statement.

e-RUPI is a secure and straightforward way where transactions take place rapidly. Therefore, corporates can avail the benefits of the service where it ensures the well-being of the employees.

The vouchers will be mainly used for health-related payments. Earlier, the central government had said it would bring in a vaccine e-voucher, where one can acquire an e-voucher for vaccination in a private hospital and give it to another.

Hospitals also receive the advantage of a secured process. A voucher is considered for a verification code. One could find it easy as it includes lesser declines due to the pre-blocked amount. A consumer avails the advantages of it as no digital or bank presence is involved. The receiver doesn’t carry a printout of the voucher.

The initiation of e-RUPI comes against proposals being taken by the Reserve Bank of India to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) pegged on the nation’s existing fiat currency, the rupee. The RBI’s deputy governor T Rabi Shankar finalised the ideas in July, making a vital U-turn in the central bank’s stance over virtual currencies.

The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy held a webinar where the RBI deputy governor stated, “Every idea has to wait for its time. Perhaps the time for CBDC is nigh. It would be RBI’s endeavour, as we move forward in the direction of India’s CBDC, to take the necessary steps which would reiterate the leadership position of India in the payment system.”

Known the names of the banks which are operational with e-RUPI

  • State Bank of India
  • Axis Bank
  • Bank of Baroda
  • HDFC Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • Kotak Bank
  • Punjab National Bank
  • Indian Bank
  • Induslnd Bank
  • Canara Bank