The digital rupee is meant to augment, not replace, the present payment system. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is prepared to run a retail trial of the “digital rupee” after testing wholesale usage of its central bank digital currency (CBDC). The pilot should be ready in a month.
According to the Economic Times of India, the RBI is nearing completion of the retail digital rupee trial.
State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, and IDFC First Bank are among the participants. According to reports, the pilot will eventually encompass all of the country’s major banks.
Each participating bank will test the CBDC on 10,000 to 50,000 consumers. The banks will work with the PayNearby and Bankit systems to implement the new payment option. The National Payments Corporation of India will be in charge of the CBDC infrastructure. According to an unidentified person who spoke to Indian journalists:
“The e-rupee will be stored in a wallet, the denominations will be available as per the customer’s request, just like you request cash from an ATM. Banks are launching this only in select cities.”
Customers and merchants will have to download special CBDC wallets, but the RBI intends to completely integrate it with conventional digital banking services in the future. According to reports, the digital rupee is meant to augment the present payment system rather than replace it.
On November 1, the RBI began the wholesale segment trial for the digital rupee. Its primary application has been to settle secondary market transactions in government securities. However, no information about the wholesale pilot’s successful conclusion is known at the time of writing.