RBI launches retail central bank digital currency on pilot basis

The RBI today, December 1, launched the retail digital rupee on a pilot basis. The central bank has identified eight banks for phase-wise participation in this trial. The retail digital rupee will be in the form of a digital token that represents legal tender.

AIR correspondent reports, the RBI will issue digital currency in the same denominations that paper currency and coins are issued.

Retail digital rupee transactions can be carried out through a digital wallet on mobile phones and other devices. Only those digital wallets offered by banks participating in the RBI’s digital rupee programme can transact in digital currency.

The retail digital currency will be distributed through banks. Transactions in digital currency can be carried out between person-to-person and person-to-merchant. Payments to merchants can be made using QR or the Quick Response codes displayed at merchant locations.

The first phase will begin with four banks i.e.State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, and IDFC First Bank in four cities including Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Bhubaneswar, and later extend to Ahmedabad, Gangtok, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Lucknow, Patna, and Shimla.

Four other banks — Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank — will join the trial later.

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