India is moving to the next phase of government-backed Fintech revolution. In a country that recorded over 3 billion UPI transactions in July, the scope of digital currency is huge. The pandemic has not only widened the customer base for digital payments platforms but also ensured that the fastest growing economy is not stalled by flurry of virus waves in anyway. The digital payment system is called e-RUPI.
The rise of fintech ecosystem could be understood from the recent volume of investments in the digital payments space. For example, BharatPe just announced a $370 million funding round to step up its efforts to become the next-gen banking alternative for merchants, businesses and citizens.
What is e-Rupi?
e-Rupi is India’s latest Fintech offering. It was launched by Indian PM Narendra Modi on 2 January 2021 to bring in more regulation with better customer experience in the growing digital payments ecosystem. E-Rupi is an electronic voucher-based digital payment system co-developed on UPI platform by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and National Health Authority, and others. This cashless payments app will be linked to all the existing government benefits scheme including those linked to maternal and child welfare schemes, TB eradication programs, farmer benefits schemes and so on.
We spoke to the leading fintech experts in the country to understand the mood around the latest government-assisted development in the Indian Fintech industry.
Rajesh Mirjankar, MD & CEO, Infrasoft Technologies said, ‘”The e-RUPI initiative is an innovative model of enabling digital transactions through voucher QR codes and links through both smartphones and feature phones without an intermediary or a bank account. We are proud to be associated with the e-RUPI initiative through our client banks. NPCI has been at the forefront of digital innovation for payments in India and we are pleased to be offering the entire NPCI product stack through our products to our client banks.”
Rajesh added, “With e-RUPI, the government have successfully created a direct channel to reach and help the beneficiaries. The system will now allow the Indian government to implement their welfare policies at speed and scale eliminating the multiple tedious processes beneficiaries went through to get funds previously. e-RUPI would also promote financial inclusion by enabling the underbanked population to receive the benefits and funds of welfare schemes and play a crucial role in bolstering the economy of the country from the ground up. The flexible and scalable framework will also pave the way for the use of prepaid vouchers in public, private, and corporate setups.”
Currently, InfrasoftTech provides the e-RUPI technology stack to banks by helping them in implementing the tech right from integration with the existing systems to deployment as per their target beneficiaries. InfraSoft is working with two banks of the 11 live banks as per NPCI and planning to add more client banks with the e-RUPI features.
Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder & CEO, PayNearby said, “This is the next best step to take high end of tech to bottom of pyramid. It will help the Government to dispense the specific policy benefit to an identified user segment without any misuse of the funds or delay. The funds will not need to move around in banks but the beneficiary can directly go to end point to avail the intended benefit.
Beyond a code sending to mobile number of a user, I believe the upgrade can also scan an Aadhaar card at the dispensation counter and identify the user for the respective service. This is the true test of network that has been created at the last mile in India because at PayNearby our merchants will be able to identify the user for right benefit and deliver it in pointed / specific manner. Targeted, transparent and leakage free delivery to the end point is the intention of policy makers and we are happy that PayNearby will be able to enable this objective. The Central Bank Digital Currency movement has already started by India now. While the world is talking of Central Bank Digital Currency, India has already launched it today.”
Rejoiced by the latest fintech growth, Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money said, “The launch of e-RUPI is a landmark move by PM Modi to bring technology into the hands of billions, specially at the last mile. There have been many conversations around ensuring leak-proof welfare to beneficiaries by leveraging new-age tech, however, the launch of e-RUPI today makes India a global pioneer in the digital payments ecosystem. With the pandemic, the growth of the fintech sector, particularly digital payments, has been at rocket-speed. Now, with this new contactless, cashless digital payments platform, this growth will be further accelerated, specially in rural India, where most Direct Benefit Transfers are witnessed. Spice Money has been one of the most vocal supporters of tech in payments and we wholeheartedly welcome this initiative, that will further the vision of financial inclusion for all.”
Avinash Shekhar, Co-CEO of ZebPay, said, ‘’We are glad to see e-RUPI which is a great way to implement person and purpose specific digital transactions. We are also looking forward to seeing the features of central bank digital currencies and how they will work. These are great steps towards forming a complete digital economy that have their own unique roles. We believe crypto assets, along with these innovations like e-RUPI and digital currencies, can co-exist in the digital Indian economy.’’
Mandar Agashe, Founder and MD, Sarvatra Technologies, concluded the discussion on fintech’s e-RUPI news.
Mandar said, “The new digital payment mode e-RUPI is a digital prepaid voucher shared with beneficiaries for a specific purpose through SMS or a QR code to their mobile number. It will give a new dimension to the 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. It is an excellent step towards forming a complete digital economy and yet another step in the right direction for financial inclusion. The introduction of e-RUPI will ensure end to end digital transactions without any physical issuance of prepaid cards or vouchers, leading to cost reduction, transparency and improved efficiency.
e-RUPI is a beneficial instrument for those who are not on digital platforms. It can yet get extended monetary support in digital form directly from the government in the form of a prepaid e-voucher powered by UPI. Besides, this mode makes UPI world’s most advanced product and will help India achieve its social and digital transparency goal.”
Thank you everyone for sharing your valuable fintech insights with us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.
[To share your insights with us, please write to email@example.com]