The Indian government is launching an electronic voucher-based digital payment system called e-RUPI which is a cashless and contactless method for digital payment. It is a prepaid UPI e-voucher redeemed either through a QR code or an SMS string.
There is no need of a card, digital payments app, or internet banking access, at the service provider.
This electronic voucher system is already used by many countries like the US, Colombia, Chile, Sweden, Hong Kong, etc.
e RUPI vs Virtual Currency
What is the world’s first virtual currency?
Is e RUPI a Cryptocurrency?
No cryptocurrency is based on blockchain, while e-RUPI is based on UPI systems. It is very similar to the gift vouchers but it is released by the government. It can be the government’s first step in launching a digital currency.
Features of e RUPI
- Initially, it was made to be used for payments at vaccination centres, but now it can be extended by the government for the provision of direct benefit transfer (DBT), scholarships, facilitating subsidies, etc.
- It is a cashless and contactless digital payment system to transfer the 100% benefit to citizens in a ‘leak-proof’ manner.
- These e-RUPI vouchers are person-specific and purpose-specific that means that they can be redeemed only for the specific purpose. For example, if they are for vaccination purposes, they can only be redeemed at vaccination centres or hospitals and not anywhere else.
- It is developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), with the help of the Department of Financial Services, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- These e vouchers can be generated by any government agency or corporation through their bank partners.
- It is basically like a pre-paid gift card without a physical card but delivered in the form of a QR code or an SMS string.
- Beneficiaries can redeem the voucher without the need of any card, internet banking access or a digital payments app. Even a person without a bank account can also use this e-RUPI.
- Also there is no need of any smartphone to avail this service since simple phones are also able to receive the SMS string.