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India has plans to later integrate the digital rupee with the existing bank apps and services.
Following the successful testing of the wholesale digital rupee (e-rupee), India is ready to launch the retail version in a pilot program. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the launch will take place within a month. However, that will be if everything works as planned.
RBI Gives Details of Digital Rupee Rollout
As cited by the Economic Times of India in a recent report, efforts are in top gear to begin the rollout. But the RBI already has a list of banks it will be starting its pilot with, as soon as the launch happens. They include Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Union Bank of India, and others. Regardless, however, the RBI says it will extend the program to the entire banking system at a later date.
Furthermore, the pilot will also only take place in a select few cities within the country. And for the participating banks within those cities, they will be allowed to test the e-rupee with a limited number of their customers. That is between 10,000 to 50,000 users per participating bank.
According to the RBI, banks will have to partner with PayNearby and Bankit platforms to maximize the new payment option. Consumers and merchants alike can store their digital rupees in special, downloadable wallets. But then, there are also plans to later integrate the digital rupee with the existing bank apps and services.
Meanwhile, it might be worth noting that India does not intend the e-rupee as a replacement for the current payment system. Rather, it is meant as a complement to its fiat.
Recall that Coinspeaker reported on November 1, that the RBI had launched the wholesale pilot for the digital rupee. However, the official information regarding its successful completion is yet to be disclosed as of publication.
Nonetheless, the entire process around India’s CBDC has been nothing short of impressive. This is so because the RBI only announced its plans for a CBDC project for the first time in February. But be that as it may, and considering the stance of India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on CBDCs, it is understandable how quickly the plans have begun to unravel.