The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) central bank digital currency, the digital rupee, gains improved usability through an integration with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) by Yes Bank. This marks the first instance of UPI integration with the Indian retail central bank digital currency, following a series of projects since its pilot launch in December.
UPI Integration for Digital Rupee: Seamless Transactions with UPI
Yes Bank has announced (1) the integration of the UPI with the RBI's digital rupee app, enhancing the digital rupee's usability. Account holders of Yes Bank can now perform transactions with the digital rupee by scanning UPI QR codes. The UPI, managed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), serves as a national payment portal and is utilized by approximately 150 million merchants in India (2).
Promising Development for Users: Interoperable CBDC Platform
Ajay Rajan, an executive at Yes Bank, highlighted (3) the significance of the transition to an interoperable CBDC platform. This development promises seamless, efficient, and broader transactional capabilities for Yes Bank customers. The integration of UPI with the digital rupee is expected to drive increased CBDC usage due to the enhanced convenience and accessibility it offers.
Yes Bank's Role and Background: Original Participant in CBDC Pilot
Yes Bank was among the initial eight participating banks in the retail digital rupee pilot project that commenced in December. The project engaged 5,000 participating merchants and 50,000 CBDC users, facilitating 800,000 transactions valued at $134 million by February. A separate pilot for wholesale digital rupee was initiated in November.
Digital Rupee's Expansion: Accepted at Reliance Retail Stores
The digital rupee has gained acceptance at select stores within the Reliance Retail chain, one of India's largest retail chains. This acceptance is facilitated through a program utilizing QR codes, which was launched in February in collaboration with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Innoviti Technologies.