- Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched digital payment solution e-RUPI, taking the first step towards having a digital currency in the country. The platform, which has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), will be a person-specific and purpose-specific payments system.
- e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless digital payments medium, which will be delivered to mobile phones of beneficiaries in form of an SMS-string or a QR code. This will essentially be like a prepaid gift-voucher that will be redeemable at specific accepting centres without any credit or debit card, a mobile app or internet banking. e-RUPI will connect the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interface.
- According to the government, e-RUPI is expected to ensure a leak-proof delivery of welfare services. It can also be used for delivering services under schemes meant for providing drugs and nutritional support under Mother and Child welfare schemes, TB eradication programmes, drugs & diagnostics under schemes like Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, fertiliser subsidies etc. The government also said that even the private sector can leverage these digital vouchers as part of their employee welfare and corporate social responsibility programmes.
- The Reserve Bank of India had recently said that it has been working towards a phased implementation strategy for central bank digital currency or CBDC — digital currencies issued by a central bank that generally take on a digital form of the nation’s existing fiat currency such as the rupee.
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