Underlining that Modi has always championed digital initiatives, the Prime Minister’s Office said over the years, several programmes have been launched to ensure that the benefits reach its intended beneficiaries in a targeted and leak-proof manner, with limited touch points between the government and the beneficiary.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched digital payment solution e-RUPI, a person and purpose specific cashless digital payment solution, via videoconference. Speaking on the occasion, he said the eRUPI voucher was a symbol of how India was progressing by connecting people’s lives with technology. He expressed happiness that this futuristic reform initiative had come at a time when the country was celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav on the 75th anniversary of Independence.

In addition to the government, he stated, if any organisation wanted to help someone in their treatment, education or for any other work, then they would be able to give an eRUPI voucher instead of cash. This would ensure that the money given by him was used for the work for which the amount had been given.

The Prime Minister observed, “eRUPI will ensure that the money is being used for the purpose for which any help or any benefit is being provided’’. There was a time when technology was considered a domain of the rich people and there was no scope for technology in a poor country like India. “Today we are seeing technology as a tool to help the poor, a tool for their progress,’’ he pointed out.

The e-RUPI platform has been developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health and Welfare and the National Health Authority.

HOW DOES e-RUPI WORK?

A statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment. The statement added that it is a QR code or SMS string-based e-voucher, which is delivered to the mobile phones of beneficiaries.

e-RUPI connects the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interface. It also ensures that the payment to the service provider is made only after the transaction is completed.

Since it is prepaid in nature, it assures timely payment to the service provider without the involvement of any intermediary.The one-time payment mechanism of e-RUPI will allow users to redeem the voucher without a card, digital payments app or internet banking access, at the service provider.

Many banks have been onboarded for issuing e-RUPI vouchers. Corporate and government agencies will have to approach partner banks — both private and public-sector lenders — with the details of beneficiaries and the purpose of the payment. As of now, there are a total of 11 public and private sector banks that will support this new payment mode.State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Axis Bank and Bank of Baroda will provide both issuance and redemption facilities for e-RUPI coupons. Meanwhile, Canara Bank, IndusInd Bank, Indian Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Union Bank of India will only issue e-RUPI coupons for now.

The beneficiaries will be identified using their mobile number, and it will be electronically delivered to them without any other point of contact.

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