India, a country with innumerable opportunities, is quickly progressing towards a financially-inclusive society. While the emergence is taking its course, amongst all, the buildout of financial technology is a worthy fragment to highlight. This evolution has allowed us to envisage a cashless tomorrow without a dependency on smartphones or an internet connection.
The GOI recently launched e-RUPI, a potential game-changer in the financial world, in collaboration with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). It is a person and purpose-specific advanced payment platform wherein an individual can avail government subsidies through SMS codes/e-Vouchers. To ensure financial-inclusiveness, SBI in partnership with Hitachi Payment Services has designed an application that will enable the masses with smartphones and feature phones alike. The Yono SBI Merchant App, a platform to enable transactions, will ensure the subsidies are allocated to the individual without the need of an intermediary. This will boost transparency and reduce the element of risk for merchants at the time of transaction. e-RUPI and the Financial World highlights the benefits and potential of e-RUPI while keeping the untapped audience, i.e., rural population in mind.
At the outset, the government has confined e-RUPI to the healthcare sector by partnering with 1600 hospitals while simultaneously preparing a launch in the agricultural sector in the next phase but, e-RUPI also poses tremendous potential in other sectors, especially the education and food segment. While a robust buildup is required before e-RUPI ventures into other sectors, NPCI is in discussion with several corporates to assess the scope of e-RUPI in terms of employee benefit and corporate social responsibility. This step will enable the government and corporates to measure the social impact of subsidies and benefits, respectively.
Furthermore, as per data, Indians indulge in roughly 2 lakh crore domestic remittances a year and citing the potential it holds, e-RUPI can be deemed as a strong challenger to Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in the coming years. It may emerge as the leading payment system in India, given the population, rural and urban, it can bring under its fold. With urban co-operative banks, Fintechs and corporates coming together, e-RUPI is likely to develop further in respect to its functionality and offerings revolutionizing the way neo-banks operate today. It’ll further pave way to a technology first approach in the financial world.
Although e-RUPI is in its primitive stage today, it holds and promises significant potential to transform the payment system of India. It is an introduction to a new dimension in the financial world that will ensure financial inclusiveness across population.