Digital RupeeImage: https://twitter.com/RBI/photo
Mumbai/IBNS: Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot kicked off on Thursday (Dec. 1), a month after India's central bank launched the wholesale version for the same.
Initially, RBI will start the process with four banks- ICICI Bank, SBI, Yes Bank, and IDFC Bank.
In the second phase, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank will also join in.
The pilot will take place in select locations within a Closed User Group (CUG), as per an official press release.
Delhi, Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar, and Bengaluru have been selected as the pilot cities, while Gangtok, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Indore and Kochi among others are next in line.
The e-rupee will be a legal tender in the form of a digital token.
Issued denominations will be the same as the physical notes and coins in circulation.
People will be allowed to
keep digital rupee in the e-wallet given by participating banks.
The e-currency will be in use for Person-to-Person (P2P) and Person-to-Merchant (P2M) transactions, as per media reports.
Payments to merchants can be made using QR codes displayed at merchant locations.
Points of difference with UPI
Unlike UPI, users will need to create a separate CBDC account linked with RBI's server, Moneycontrol reported.
Plus, the users will have to back up their CBDC account with a savings account, as per an IndiaToday report.
The transactions will take place on the Indian central bank's blockchain and not on bank servers such as UPI, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) or National Electronics Funds Transfer (NEFT) transactions, according to a Moneycontrol report.
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