On Thursday, one of the largest retail Indian chains, Reliance Retail, announced that they have started accepting the digital rupee at one of its store lines and plans to extend the rollout to all its businesses.
Briefing media, the company said that the support for the Indian central bank digital currency (CBDC) has already been rolled out at Freshpik, its gourmet store line.
Further, the entity noted that it would expand all its subsidiaries’ support for the digital rupee. This move is expected to give a swift push to the adoption of the country’s CBDC.
V. Subramaniam, an executive at Reliance Retail, highlighted that accepting the CBDC resonates with the firm’s vision of offering “the power of choice” to its customers. The executive also said that the initiative allows the firm to provide an alternative payment option within its stores.
Sources reveal that Reliance Retail partnered with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Innoviti Technologies, a fintech company, to implement the support for the CBDC.
Reportedly, the customers willing to pay in digital rupee will receive a QR code at the store to complete their transaction.
On October 7, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank of India, revealed the plans for the country’s CBDC in a 51-page note. The RBI, in its report, defined various factors around the CBDC, including the potential positive and negative effects. On November 1, the RBI started the wholesale (CBDC-W) segment pilot program for institutions and merchants.
Exactly a month after the retail testing, on December 1, the central bank started the CBDC pilot for retail consumers within a closed user group composed of merchants and customers. The central bank counts on reducing the operational cost of managing cash as one of the biggest motivations behind a CBDC.
Reportedly, the retail CBDC can be used by all, including the private sector, non-financial consumers, and businesses. At the same time, the wholesale CBDC is designed for restricted access to select financial institutions. Todayq News reported that the RBI had named nine banks- 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 Bank to participate alongside the pilot program.