India, a cash-loving economy since centuries; a country where cash dominates most of the transactions (both legal and illegal). This cash-loving attitude is partly due to the fact that illegal cash holdings have become easier for Indians, and partly due to the sluggish growth of Indian economy. However, the government of India has taken some considerable steps to mitigate corruption and reduce cash transactions. In the recent past, one of the major steps taken by the prime minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi was demonetization.
Today, he has taken another step to reduce income inequality in India through the introduction of e-RUPI. Everyone is wondering what is e-RUPI? Let’s understand it in simple words. It is a “QR code or SMS string-based e-voucher” that will be accessed through the mobile of beneficiaries. It acts in the manner of prepaid vouchers that could be redeemed and paid to service providers. This helps the user to skip the exaggerating steps while using a card, internet banking or digital payment apps. The e-RUPI is said to work for the poor section of the economy and take up less time while making transactions.
During the launch of e-RUPI, the Prime Minister said, “Today the country is giving a new dimension to digital governance. e-RUPI voucher is going to play a huge role in making digital transactions, and DBT more effective. This will help everyone in targeted, transparent and leakage free delivery.”
Dr. Sanjiv Marwah, director, JK Business School welcomed this decision and said, “The evolution of digital currency in the form of e-RUPI in India is one of the best examples that India’s digital economy is advancing at the right pace with a vision of good governance. Due to the prepaid nature of e-RUPI, India is now entering into a phase of faster and safer cashless transactions.”
Prof. Kuber Sharma, Professor of Fintech, JK Business School added, “e-RUPI has a wide scope of its application across several digital platforms. From paying service providers to using these digital vouchers as part of CSR and employee welfare programmes, e-RUPI has a potential to become a huge part of our lives. The impact is yet to be analysed as India’s payment network is archaic and light years behind the latest and greatest technologies available globally in this space.”
SBI, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, PNB, Bank of Baroda as well as ICICI Bank support e-RUPI vouchers where issuance along with redemption both are available. On the other hand, Canara bank, Indian Bank, Union Bank of India, IndusInd Bank as well as Kotak Mahindra Bank have the authority to issue e-RUPI coupons where redeeming them is not an option. As of now, above-mentioned eight major banks are already live with e-RUPI, hoping for many more to join the list.
The government of India states that electronic vouchers are going to be a frequent tool of cashless transactions in the future. 17.5 lakh crore was transferred to the account of beneficiaries through DBT. The application of electronic vouchers is indeed a step towards a humanitarian society that aims to bring back a more decentralized society. Anticipated to be a revolutionary measure, e-RUPI has given high hopes to the citizens of India for the future of the economy.
Divyanshu Barnwal and Sonali Verma
Students, PGDM Cohort 2020
Members, DMRC and CRC
JK Business School (JKBS)