Home / News / India /  E-Rupee pilot project: RBI to add 5 more banks in 9 cities. Details here

To ensure a slow and steady adoption of e-rupee, the Reserve Bank of India, on Wednesday, announced to include five more banks in additional nine cities in the pilot project on the central bank digital currency(CBDC).

As of now, the retail CBDC is available for only 50,000 users now and of them 5,000 are merchants. The participant banks are including users on invitation basis in five cities, RBI deputy governor T Rabi Sankar told PTI on Wednesday at the customary post-policy presser.

Also Read: IDFC First Bank, ToneTag partner to launch CBDC payments

The project began in early December with eight banks in five cities. The list of early participants included State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and IDFC First Bank. Later, four more banks, ie Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank also joined.

Also Read: FII stake of Yes Bank surges around 11% in Q3: Buy, sell or hold?

Looking at the smooth adoption of the currency, T Rabi Sankar informed that the central bank is planning to bring five more banks onboard to the platform. With the banks, there will also be an increase in the number of cities where the pilot project is being tested. Four more cities will be added in the policy.

Also Read: Digital currency to further bolster digital economy: RBI

“Having said on this and the risk of being right, let me just reiterate that we want the process to happen. But we want the process to happen gradually and slowly. We are in no hurry to make something happen very quickly." said the deputy governer.

He also added that the RBI has set its targets in terms of users, in terms of merchants and all that. However, the plan of achieving those targets will be implemented smoothly by estimating the possible impact on the industries.

The volume of transaction via the e-currency is increasing slowly. It has reached to a total amount of   7.7 lakh only, he informed. The e-currency was launched by the RBI on November 1 and December 1 last year for wholesale and retail use. 

Wholesale CBDC usage is limited to only seconday market transactions in government securities, but the retail e-rupee is being taken forward as a pilot project within a closed user group(CUG). The group comprises mainly off customers and merchants. With e-currency, the RBI aims to bring efficiency in the inter-bank markets by reducing transaction costs. 

(With agency inputs)

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