The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) plans to expand the pilot for the central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the fiscal year (FY) 2023-24, said the central bank’s annual report released on May 30.
The CBDC, referred to as digital rupee or e₹, will now be taken to more banks and locations in this financial year. “RBI aims at expanding ongoing pilots in CBDC-Retail and CBDC-Wholesale by incorporating various use cases and features,” the report said.
On October 31, 2022, the central bank launched the first pilot of digital rupee in the wholesale segment and identified nine banks to participate. The pilots for the wholesale and retail CBDC were started on November 1, 2022 and December 1, 2022, respectively. The nine lenders include State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda (BOB), Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First Bank and HSBC.
The retail digital rupee, or e₹, can be used by people for day-to-day transactions.
Eight banks are participating in the retail pilot project, including SBI, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First Bank, BOB, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Under the pilot project, banks can invite selective customers and merchants to try the services through their mobile applications. After this, these users can make peer-to-peer transactions and peer-to-merchant transactions.