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e-RUPI, a portmanteau of electronic Rupee and UPI, was developed in collaboration with:

  • Department of Financial Services
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • National Health Authority

It was introduced on August 2, 2021.

Purpose and Functionality

e-RUPI aims to ensure the leak-proof delivery of welfare services and reduce corruption by bypassing middlemen. The private sector can also utilize this service for their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Essentially, e-RUPI functions as an e-voucher, which can be delivered through a QR code or SMS string to mobile phones.

Future Implications

e-RUPI is considered a precursor to the future Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that will be launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It will help identify gaps within the national digital payment infrastructure, facilitating a smoother transition to CBDC.

Key Implementations

  • Integration by Financial Software and Systems (FSS): On December 1, 2021, FSS integrated e-RUPI to serve financially underserved segments of society.
  • Government Initiatives: The Government of Karnataka partnered with NPCI to provide student scholarships through e-RUPI, which can be received even on feature phones.