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RBI Retail Digital rupee launching today, December 1: Check full list of cities, banks offering digital wallet transaction


New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is all set to launch the first pilot for retail digital rupee (e₹-R) in four Indian cities –Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar — today (Thursday, December 1). A month ago, on November 1, the central bank had had started a pilot in the digital rupee – wholesale segment. The first pilot for retail digital rupee (e₹-R) will be launched in four Indian cities –Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar — today and the RBI later expand it to nine more cities in the initial phase.

What is RBI retail digital rupee (e₹-R)?

The e₹-R would be in the form of a digital token that represents legal tender. It would be issued in the same denominations that paper currency and coins are currently issued. It would be distributed through intermediaries, i.e., banks. (Also read: YES BANK discontinuing subscription based SMS balance alert facility for customers from today, 01 December 2022)

How to do transactions with RBI retail digital rupee (e₹-R)?

Users will be able to transact with e₹-R through a digital wallet offered by the participating banks and stored on mobile phones / devices. Transactions can be both Person to Person (P2P) and Person to Merchant (P2M).  (Also read: Bank branches to be closed for up to 14 days in the last month of the year; check City-wise list)

Payments to merchants can be made using QR codes displayed at merchant locations. The e₹-R would offer features of physical cash like trust, safety and settlement finality. As in the case of cash, it will not earn any interest and can be converted to other forms of money, like deposits with banks.

Full list of cities getting e₹-R and banks offering digital wallet transaction for e₹-R

Eight banks have been identified for phase-wise participation in this pilot. The first phase will begin with four banks, viz., State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and IDFC First Bank in four cities across the country. Four more banks, viz., Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank will join this pilot subsequently. The pilot would initially cover four cities, viz., Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar and later extend to Ahmedabad, Gangtok, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Lucknow, Patna and Shimla. The scope of pilot may be expanded gradually to include more banks, users and locations as needed, said RBI.

The Central Bank further added that the pilot will test the robustness of the entire process of digital rupee creation, distribution and retail usage in real time. Different features and applications of the e₹-R token and architecture will be tested in future pilots, based on the learnings from this pilot.





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