One of India’s biggest retail 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.
In a report by Tech Crunch, the company said central bank digital currency (CBDC) support is already rolled out at Freshpik, its gourmet store line. In addition, the firm also noted that it would be expanding support for the digital rupee to all of its properties, a move that could push adoption forward for the country’s CBDC.
V Subramaniam, an executive at Reliance Retail, pointed out that accepting the central bank digital currency adheres to the firm’s vision of offering “the power of choice” to Indian consumers. The executive also highlighted that the initiative allows the firm to provide an alternative payment option within its stores.
According to the report, Reliance Retail partnered with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and fintech company, Innoviti Technologies to roll out support for the CBDC. Consumers who opt to pay with the digital rupee will receive a QR code at the store to complete their payment.
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Plans for the country’s CBDC were outlined by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Oct. 7 in a 51-page note. The country’s central bank defined various factors, including the potential positive and negative effects. According to the RBI, one of the motivations behind a CBDC is reducing the operational costs of managing cash.
The RBI launched the wholesale pilot of the digital rupee in November 2022 for institutions and merchants. On Dec. 1, 2022, the central bank started the CBDC pilot for retail consumers within a closed user group composed of merchants and customers.