The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will today launch the nation’s first digital rupee pilot project for the wholesale segment.
In a statement, the central bank said that it will “soon commence pilot launches of Digital Rupee (ea,) for specific use cases. Accordingly, the first pilot in the Digital Rupee – Wholesale segment (ea,-W) shall commence on November 1, 2022”.
The central bank further informed that “the first pilot in Digital Rupee – Retail segment (ea,-R) is planned for launch within a month in select locations in closed user groups comprising customers and merchants. The details regarding operationalisation of ea,-R pilot shall be communicated in due course”.
RBI has selected nine banks for participation in the digital rupee’s wholesale pilot project.
These are State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First Bank and HSBC.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on February 1 had announced that RBI will launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in this fiscal.
CBDC is a digital form of currency notes issued by a central bank.
Digital currency or rupee is an electronic form of money, that can be used in contactless transactions.