e-RUPI could be bigger than UPI, say experts

Surabhi Updated on August 04, 2021

Doesn’t require bank accounts or digital apps

The government’s latest digital payments offering, e-RUPI, permits offline transactions which can be carried out on feature phones, promoting its adoption in rural and remote areas as well.

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This could potentially lead to large-scale adoption of the payment solution as even the popular Unified Payments Interface (UPI), preferred in urban and semi urban areas, requires internet connectivity and a smart phone.

The beneficiary does not even require a bank account or a digital app to use the voucher.

Also see: Explained | What is e-RUPI?

“The e-RUPI voucher will be shared with the beneficiary through an SMS or QR code. This will enable its use in rural and remote areas as well where internet connectivity can be a challenge. Since it is in the form of an SMS, it can be used by people who do not have a smart phone,” said Rajesh Mirjankar, Managing Director and CEO, Infrasoft Technologies.

It will also ensure targeted delivery of funds and help measure the social impact of subsidies, he added.

Infrasoft Technologies is working with two of the 11 banks offering e-RUPI and is set to work with two more banks in the coming days.

“It will give a new dimension to digital transactions and as it can be redeemed without a card or internet banking access at the service provider. The best part of the new payment medium is it can be controlled. The issuer can ensure that the money is being spent for the allocated purpose and can track the redemption of the voucher,” said Mandar Agashe, Founder and MD, Sarvatra Technologies.

Corporates and banks have also expressed an interest in using e-RUPI vouchers for their own products and offerings, for which discussions are understood to have been initiated with the National Payments Corporation of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched e-RUPI, a person and purpose specific digital payment solution, on August 2. A one time payment mechanism, users will be able to redeem the voucher without a card, digital payments app or internet banking access, at merchants accepting e-RUPI.

At present, 11 banks are live with this solution along with over 1,600 hospitals. More banks are expected to go live soon.

It can currently be used for schemes related to the health ministry, but more direct benefit transfer schemes are expected to be included in coming months.

Published on August 03, 2021
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