India will launch its retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot on Thursday, Dec. 1, with plans to gradually expand trials, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced on Tuesday.
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- The central bank said 13 cities will take part in the retail digital rupee pilot, starting with Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar in the first batch.
- The pilot will be carried out through a select group of customers and merchants in the 13 cities.
- Consumers will be able to pay with the digital rupee by scanning QR codes on their digital wallets on mobile devices, the RBI said.
- As for banks, eight banks will participate in the retail pilot, with the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, and IDFC First Bank in the first batch.
- Digital rupees are cash in electronic form that doesn’t earn any interest but can be converted into other forms of currency, such as bank deposits, the RBI said.
- On Nov. 1, the RBI launched its wholesale CBDC pilot to test the settlement of secondary market transactions in government securities.
- The retail CBDC pilot aims to test the robustness of minting, distribution and retail uses of the digital rupee, according to the central bank.
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