PM launches e-RUPI: Govt to send money via SMS vouchers to your mobile; how to use

·5 min read

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched e-RUPI, an electronic voucher promoting digital payment solution.

As per Prime Minister's Office, e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment.

The instrument has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India on its UPI platform, in collaboration with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and National Health Authority.

What is e-RUPI? How does it work?

As per a tweet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ‘e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment.’

e-RUPI is a ‘QR code or SMS string-based e-voucher, which is delivered to the mobile of the beneficiaries,’ states the official press release.

This will act as a prepaid voucher that can be redeemed as payment to a service provider, eliminating the need for a card, digital payments app or internet banking access. It will connect 'sponsors of service providers with beneficiaries and service providers' digitally. It assures 'timely payments' without the involvement of any intermediary. As per the official statement, 'it also ensures that the payment to the service provider is made only after the transaction is completed.'

The digital payment solution is developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on its UPI platform, in collaboration with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and National Health Authority.

Users can redeem the voucher by scanning a QR Code received via SMS.

How will e-RUPI Digital Payment Work

The government will send the voucher directly to the mobile number of the beneficiaries, instead of putting the cash in bank accounts. The mobile number and identity of the citizen will be verified first before sending the e-RUPI coupons. “e-RUPI connects the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interface,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a notification.

e-RUPI Digital Payment: Benefits

The e-RUPI payment mode is not related to any app or mobile banking. So anyone with any phone can access these electronic coupons. The user can redeem the SMS voucher at the service provider. The payment to the provider will processed only when the transaction is complete. The prepaid nature of this payment ensures timely payment to the service provider without involvement of any intermediary.

Where e-RUPI Digital Payment will be Used

The government wants to use e-RUPI payment mode to deliver the financial benefits under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes such as providing drugs and nutritional support under mother and child welfare schemes, TB eradication programmes, drugs & diagnostics under schemes like Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, fertilizer subsidies etc. The private sector can also use e-RUPI digital vouchers as part of their employee welfare and corporate social responsibility programmes.

“Not only the government, if any general organisation or organization 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 added.

Where can one use e-RUPI?

As per the official statement, the digital payment service can be used to ensure 'a leak-proof delivery of welfare services'. It can also be used to deliver services under schemes meant for providing drugs and nutritional support under Mother and Child welfare schemes, TB eradication programmes, drugs & diagnostics under schemes like Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, fertiliser subsidies and so on.

As for the private sector, the government suggested the sector can leverage these digital vouchers as a part of its 'employee welfare and corporate social responsibility programs'.

How is e-RUPI different from other digital payment apps?

The chief difference between e-RUPI and other online payment apps is that e-RUPI is not a platform or an app. It is a voucher that can be redeemed for specific services only. Unlike other payment services, the user does not need to have a digital payment app or even a bank account to redeem this voucher.

What are the benefits of using e-RUPI?

According to the NPCI website, it is beneficial for corporates as it is an end-to-end digital transaction that doesn't require any physical issuance. Therefore, it will lead to cost reduction for the organisation. Additionally, the website reveals the issuer will be able to track voucher redemption.

e-RUPI will be beneficial for users as it is 'easy and secure', as per the official statement. Since it has a pre-blocked amount, chances of a transaction being declined will be significantly lowered. As per NPCI, it has a two-step redemption process and the user does not need to share any personal details while redeeming the voucher. Notably, consumers do not need to have a digital payment app to redeem the voucher.

How will hospitals benefit from e-RUPI?

Following are the benefits for hospitals that e-RUPI might offer:

Easy and secure - Voucher is authorized via a verification code.

Hassle-free and contactless payment collection - handling of cash or cards is not required.
Quick redemption process - The voucher can be redeemed in a few steps and lesser decline due to the pre-blocked amount.

What are e-RUPI benefits to the consumer?

Following are e-RUPI benefits to the consumer:

Contactless - beneficiary should not carry a printout of the voucher.

Easy redemption - 2 step redemption process.

Safe and Secure - Beneficiary doesn't need to share personal details while redemption hence privacy is maintained.

No digital or bank presence required - Consumer redeeming the voucher need not have a digital payment app or a bank account.

Which banks are live with e-RUPI?

As per NPCI, State Bank of India, HDFC, Axis, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank are already live with the e-RUPI digital payment solution.

What are e-RUPI benefits for corporates?

Even corporates can benefit from e-RUPI:

Corporates can enable well-being of their employees End to end the digital transaction and doesn't require any physical issuance hence leading to cost reduction Voucher redemption can be tracked by the issuer Quick, safe and contactless voucher distribution. With inputs from PTI, ANI, FirstPost, News18

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