The Reserve Bank on Tuesday said the scope of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot is being expanded gradually to include more banks and locations.
The first pilot in the Digital Rupee -Wholesale Segment (e rupee-W) commenced on November 1, 2022. It was followed by the first pilot for retail digital rupee (e rupee-R) was announced on December 1, 2022.
Retail digital rupee offers features of physical cash like trust, safety and settlement finality in digital mode.
It can be held or used to carry out transactions, similar to how currency notes can be used in physical form, the RBI said in its annual report.
The pilot was launched in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar, comprising participating customers and merchants in a closed user group (CUG).
Other locations, including Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Gangtok, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Lucknow, Patna and Shimla are also being added to the pilot in phases.
The pilot began with four banks -- State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and IDFC First Bank -- while four other banks -- Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank have joined subsequently.