The Reserve Bank of India has announced the launch of the first pilot for the retail digital Rupee on 1st December 2022.

 

Details

  • Eight banks have been identified for phase-wise participation in this pilot.
  • The first phase will begin with four banks including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and IDFC First Bank in four cities across the country.
  • Four more banks, including Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank will join this pilot subsequently.
  • The pilot would initially cover four cities, including Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar and later extend to Ahmedabad, Gangtok, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Lucknow, Patna and Shimla.
  • The scope of the pilot may be expanded gradually to include more banks, users and locations as needed.
  • The pilot would cover select locations in a closed user group – CUG comprising participating customers and merchants.
  • The digital Rupee would be in the form of a digital token that represents legal tender.
  • Users will be able to transact with digital Rupee through a digital wallet offered by the participating banks and stored on mobile phones.

 

How the transactions would be carried out?

  • Transactions can be both Person to Person and Person Merchant.
  • Payments to merchants can be made using QR codes displayed at merchant locations.
  • The digital Rupee would offer features of physical cash like trust, safety and settlement finality.
  • As in the case of cash, it will not earn any interest and can be converted to other forms of money, like deposits with banks.
  • The pilot will test the robustness of the entire process of digital rupee creation, distribution and retail usage in real time.
  • Different features and applications of the digital Rupee token and architecture will be tested in future pilots, based on the learnings from this pilot.