The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, announced on Aug. 30 that India’s digital currency (CBDC); The digital rupee will have greater ease of use. This is due to Yes Bank’s integration with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in RBI’s digital rupees app. Now Ja bank account holders can transact with the digital rupee by scanning UPI QR codes.
UPI is a national payment gateway operated by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a division of RBI. The NPCI provides the infrastructure for both the UPI and the digital rupee. According to local reports, UPI is used by 150 million merchants in India, according to local media reports.
The Yes Bank app marks the first integration of UPI with the CBDC. Ajay Rajan, a senior executive at Yes Bank, said in a statement:
“The transition to an interoperable CBDC platform promises more seamless, efficient and rich transaction opportunities for YES BANK customers. (…) This transformative enabler will enable a quantum leap in the use of CBDC, driven by increased convenience and accessibility.”
Yes Bank was one of the original eight banks that participated in the digital retail rupee pilot that started in December. The project involved 5,000 participating merchants and 50,000 CBDC users, and by February had completed 800,000 transactions worth $134 million. A separate wholesale digital rupee pilot was launched in November.
The digital rupee is already being accepted at some stores of the country’s major retail chain Reliance through a QR code program launched in February in partnership with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Innoviti Technologies.