The Reserve Bank of India may add more banks to conduct the pilot, which is expected to begin soon, according to the article, which cited people with knowledge of the situation.
Central bank digital currency (CBDC) is being tested by the RBI on two fronts: one for the wholesale sector, where a pilot project is already in progress, and the other for the retail market (CBDC-R).
“Five banks have been shortlisted to run the pilot with the help of NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and RBI. Some customer and merchant accounts will soon be selected to roll out the retail digital rupee pilot,” ET cited a person familiar with the development.
Last month, the RBI said in a concept note that it was looking at giving CBDC retail purchases of less than Rs 50,000 the same level of anonymity that customers have when making small cash payments.
Following the global success of private cryptocurrencies, many countries are considering launching their own digital currencies. These CBDCs aim to reduce dependence on currency and are based on the same blockchain technology.
Retail and wholesale versions of CBDCs are envisaged to serve specific functions. While wholesale CBDC will only be available to a select group of financial institutions, retail CBDC is accessible to all.