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SBI, ICICI, IDFC, HDFC in RBI List for Digital Currency Pilot – Mintpaisa

State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, IDFC First Bank and HDFC Bank are among a shortlist of at least five lenders that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has tapped to work on the currency’s retail pilot central bank digital (CBDC), people familiar with the matter told ET.

The Reserve Bank is deliberating on whether the retail CBDC (also known as CBDC-R) should be interoperable with the current digital payment system or whether a new framework should be built. The driver for the Retail Digital Rupee is expected to go live soon.

“Five banks have been shortlisted to run the pilot with the help of NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and RBI. Selected customer and merchant accounts will be chosen to roll out the retail digital rupee pilot soon,” said one of the people. .

“Two Schools of Thought”

Unlike the use of CBDC in the wholesale market – this pilot has already begun – “the full-fledged rollout of retail CBDC has the potential to change the way we make payments.”

More banks could be added to the retail pilot, the people quoted above said.

The RBI and the banks mentioned above did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The central bank is said to weigh anonymity for small value retail payments up to Rs 50,000, replacing cash. “Reasonable anonymity for low-value transactions, akin to the anonymity associated with physical cash, may be a desirable option for CBDC-R,” the RBI had said in its CBDC concept note released this month. last.


The central bank is also considering making current QR codes and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform interoperable with CBDC-R, according to the people cited above.

“There are two schools of thought within the RBI – one that wants a whole new system to process CBDCs, while the other wants it to be interoperable with all current payment methods,” said a banker involved in the process. “We will have to see what the RBI ultimately decides.”

The CBDC aims to reduce reliance on cash, as it still accounts for nearly 80% of all retail transactions in the economy, he added. Last month, the RBI became one of the first major central banks in the world to launch a pilot project with its own virtual currency, using the wholesale digital rupee on a trial basis for the settlement of government securities transactions.


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