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Govt launches pilot in digital rupee for wholesale segment

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said it will commence pilot launches of digital rupee (e-rupee) for specific use cases from November 1.

ANI | Mumbai |

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said it will commence pilot launches of digital rupee (e-rupee) for specific use cases from November 1.

In view of this, the central bank will launch a pilot in digital rupee for the wholesale segment on Tuesday, according to an RBI statement. In a release on October 7, the central bank announced that the Reserve Bank will soon commence pilot launches of the digital rupee (e-rupee) for specific use cases.

The central bank’s statement said, “RBI vide press release dated October 7, 2022, had announced that the Reserve Bank will soon commence pilot launches of Digital Rupee (e-rupee) for specific use cases. Accordingly, the first pilot in the Digital Rupee – Wholesale segment (e-rupee-W) shall commence on November 1, 2022.”

The official statement said that the use case for this pilot was the settlement of secondary market transactions in government securities. The use of the digital rupee – wholesale segment (e-rupee-W) is expected to make the inter-bank market more efficient, it said, adding that settlement in central bank money would reduce transaction costs by pre-empting the need for settlement guarantee infrastructure or for collateral to mitigate settlement risk.

It also notified that “Going forward, other wholesale transactions, and cross-border payments will be the focus of future pilots, based on the learnings from this pilot.”

According to the statement, nine banks, namely, 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 have been identified for participation in the pilot.

The first pilot in digital rupee for the retail segment (e-rupee-R) is planned for launch within a month in select locations in closed user groups comprising customers and merchants, it also said. The details regarding operationalisation of the e-rupee-R pilot shall be communicated in due course.