Indian central bank on track to launch retail CBDC pilot next month

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The country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has finalized the rollout of a retail digital rupee pilot by the Economic Times of India (ETI). report November 19th.

RBI start A wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot was launched on November 1, testing its use in the settlement of transactions in government securities. At the time, RBI said a retail digital rupee pilot would be launched within a month of him.

According to ETI’s report, the digital rupee is intended to complement rather than replace existing payment methods. Additionally, a retail CBDC is designed to interoperate with current payment systems, sources familiar with the matter said.

According to the report, the CBDC platform is hosted by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and resembles NPCI’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system.

UPI has emerged as a popular payment method in India, allowing users to send money directly to and from their bank accounts via UPI addresses. Your UPI address is linked to your bank account, just like your email address.

An anonymous source with knowledge of the project told ETI:

โ€œJust like UPI has a common library, CBDCโ€™s technology is similar and hosted by. NPCIwill be interoperable with current payment platforms.

The e-rupees are stored in a wallet and denominations are made available upon customer request, similar to requesting cash from an ATM. Banks are only starting this in some cities. โ€

The RBI wants each bank participating in the pilot to test its retail CBDC between 10,000 and 50,000 users, according to the ETI report. Banks participating in the retail CBDC pilot include State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, and IDFC First Bank. According to reports, the CBDC project will eventually be extended to the entire banking system.

Banks participating in CBDC trials have partnered with last-mile payment service providers such as PayNearby and Bankit to enable users to pay merchants in digital rupees.

Retail CBDC will initially be offered as a standalone product. However, Digital Rupee will eventually be integrated with existing mobile and internet banking services.

According to the report, merchants and customers selected to participate in the pilot will have to download a wallet application that will be used to store e-rupees. Additionally, the user will have to request a specific denomination of her e-rupees from her bank, which will be transferred to her CBDC wallet.

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