In December 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) initiated the retail pilot phase for its digital currency.
On November 24, private sector lender IndusInd Bank announced its partnership with Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) to facilitate the acceptance of the digital rupee, the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year.
According to the bank’s regulatory filing, this collaboration will empower customers at selected IGL stations in Delhi NCR to conduct transactions using the digital rupee, thereby promoting the adoption and acceptance of India’s homegrown digital currency.
The bank emphasized that, through UPI interoperability, customers can seamlessly scan any UPI QR code using their Digital Rupee App at all IGL stations. As one of the pilot banks involved in the RBI’s CBDC initiative, IndusInd Bank is committed to leveraging the value added by CBDC to offer customers a smooth and comprehensive payment experience through the use of digital currency, as stated by Sumant Kathpalia, the managing director and CEO of IndusInd Bank.
Kathpalia further highlighted, “The adoption of CBDC is a significant step in reshaping the financial landscape. We believe that the Digital Rupee, with its blockchain technology, fortifies financial services by offering faster, convenient, and secure transactions. With the introduction of UPI interoperability, Digital Rupee is poised to become another significant platform contributing towards a ‘cashless’ economy.”
The bank also pointed out that the Digital Rupee solution is accessible on both iOS and Android platforms, ensuring a user-friendly experience. It provides various features, including peer-to-peer (P2P) and peer-to-merchant (P2M) payments, along with complete UPI QR interoperability. This move reflects IndusInd Bank’s commitment to driving advancements in digital finance and supporting the transition towards a cashless economy in India.
“This initiative is a crucial stride in facilitating a secure, inclusive, sustainable, and efficient mode of digital transactions, which will, in turn, bolster India’s standing in the global economy,” remarked Kamal Kishore Chatiwal, the managing director of IGL.
In the context of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the state-owned Bank of Baroda aims to expand its CBDC user base to 10 lakh (1 million) within the next three to four months, according to Joydeep Dutta Roy, Executive Director at BoB. Roy stated, “We currently have around 2.5 lakh users, and we are actively working to reach 10 lakh users over the next 3-4 months.” This reflects the bank’s commitment to scaling up its CBDC initiatives and embracing the growing demand for digital currency transactions in the financial landscape.