e-RUPI voucher, another milestone in digital India

It could turn out to be the fourth pillar, further supporting JAM trinity initiative

Hari Hara Mishra | August 2, 2021


#Narendra Modi   #Digital India   #digital payment   #technology   #e-governance   #finance  


Today (August 2), prime minister Narendra Modi launched the e-RUPI voucher system which is another milestone in Digital India. Simply put, this will be a digital payment which will be delivered to mobile phones of beneficiaries, even with no bank account and this payment is like an e-Voucher in form of a SMS-string or a QR code. To start with, the government is expected to utilise this system for health services like drugs, and diagnostics under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, other programmes like fertiliser subsidy and subsequently the usage will be extended to many direct benefit transfer schemes (currently around 300 DBT schemes are in operations). The first transaction today was made for payment towards the Covid vaccine in a private vaccination centre.

The e-RUPI is both cashless and contact less (meaning, no debit card/ credit card required). What is important is that the transfer is to a mobile number rather than to a bank account. Hence, this can be utilised even for unbanked population. The private sector can also use it for CSR activities. It will be a person-specific and purpose-specific payments system. Purpose specificity is an important tool to ensure the end use of funds transferred. For example, if the payment is released for textbooks, it can only be used for purchase of books and nothing else.

The platform has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and National Health Authority. NPCI has already onboarded leading public sector and private sector banks like SBI, ICICI, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, PNB, Bank of Baroda who will be the issuing entities. Any corporate or government agency will have to approach the partner banks, with the details of specific persons and the purpose for which payments have to be made. The beneficiaries will be identified using their mobile number and a voucher allocated by a bank to the service provider in the name of a given person would only be delivered to that person for the specified service only.

Because of Covid-19, contactless and digital payments have gained rapid acceptance and with increased smartphone usages, the volumes are likely to accelerate still further. The Reserve Bank of India has recently announced a digital payments index (RBI- DPI). The penetration of digital transactions is evidenced by the index at 270.59 as of March 2021, over a base of 100 as of March 2018. In three years, it has grown almost three times.

Digitalisation and fintech are the buzzwords for future. As indicated by the prime minister today, industry bodies, NGOs etc have displayed lot of enthusiasm for this product. Once this picks up momentum both in the government and private sectors, the velocity of e-RUPI will increase exponentially. This could indeed turn out to be the fourth pillar, further supporting JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile) trinity initiative.

Mishra is a policy analyst and columnist.

Comments

 

Other News

Making sense of the ‘crisis of political representation’

Imprints of the Populist Time By Ranabir Samaddar Orient BlackSwan, 352 pages, Rs. 1105 The crisis of liberal democracy in the neoliberal world—marked by massive l

Budget: Highlights

Union minister of finance and corporate affairs Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on Wednesday. The highlights of the Budget are as follows: PART A     Per capita income has more than doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh in around

Budget presents vision for Amrit Kaal: A blueprint for empowered, inclusive economy

Union Budget 2023-24, presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament on Wednesday, outlined the vision of Amrit Kaal which shall reflect an empowered and inclusive economy.  “We envision a prosperous and inclusive India, in which the fruits of development reach all regions an

Soumya Swaminathan to head M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Former World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan takes charge as chairperson of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) from February 1.   Founded by her father, the legendary agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, MSSRF was set up to accelerate the use of m

m-Governance: Key to Digital India

The digital revolution is being led by India. Digital governance is a key component of the government's ambition to transform India into a society where everyone has access to the internet. It includes both M-governance and E-governance, which are major methods for the delivery of services via mobile devic

A sacred offering of the beauty of ‘Saundarya Lahari’ – in English

Saundarya Lahari: Wave of Beauty Translated from the Sanskrit by Mani Rao HarperCollins, 218 pages, Rs 399 ‘Saundarya Lahari’, usually ascribed to Adi Shankaracharya, has a unique status among the religious-spiritual works of Hinduism.

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter