The basics of e-RUPI

Contactless and cashless digital payment solution – e-RUPI – was launched on 2nd August 2021, under the ‘Digital India’ initiative. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), developed this solution in association with the Department of Financial Services, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the National Health Authority. It is a digital voucher that is person-specific and purpose-specific and can be used to deliver social security benefits.

Working of e-RUPI

e-RUPI is a contactless digital payment system that is delivered to the mobile phones of beneficiaries in the form of a QR Code or an SMS String. It works like a prepaid voucher, redeemable at accepting centres without any credit or debit card, a mobile app, or Internet Banking. They act like e-gift cards.

NPCI will connect the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers digitally, without any physical interface. The users can redeem the voucher without a card, a payments app, or internet banking access at the service provider. The payment will be authorised by institutions such as the government and banks.

e-RUPI should not be confused with Digital Currency that the RBI wants to introduce. Instead, it is a purpose/person-specific digital voucher.

Issuing vouchers

NPCI has onboarded banks that will act as issuing entities. The beneficiaries will be verified through their mobile number (OTP verification by Aadhaar). A voucher will be allocated in the name of the given person and delivered to the same person only. Even if there is no bank account or a smartphone, these vouchers can be used to access benefits.

e-RUPI technology stack is provided to two of the 11 live banks as per NPCI. The two banks being, Punjab National Bank and Bank of Baroda.

Use cases

As mentioned, e-RUPI will deliver welfare services. It can also be used for delivering services under various government schemes meant for providing nutritional support and drugs under Mother and Child welfare schemes, TB eradication programmes, drugs and diagnostics under schemes such as fertilizer subsidies, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, etc. The NPCI has also tied up with hospitals where e-RUPI can be redeemed.

Benefits for users

  • Easy and secure:The voucher can be authorised simply with a verification code shared by the beneficiary.
  • Hassle-free and contactless payment solution:There is no need for handling cash or cards.
  • Quick redemption:The voucher can be redeemed in a few steps.

Benefits for corporates

  • Cost reduction Since the transaction does not require any physical issuance of a card or voucher, it leads to a reduction in costs.
  • Maximum visibility Issuers can track the voucher redemption process.
  • Safe:The transactions are quick, contactless, and safe.

Banks live with e-RUPI

Banks such as the State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank and Axis Bank are a part of the e-RUPI solution. More banks and payment apps are on their way to join the initiative.


e-RUPI aims to help everyone achieve targeted, transparent, and leakage-free digital money delivery. It is an excellent step in connecting people’s lives with technology. We hugely welcome this move!