India’s largest retailer, Reliance Retail, has announced it will start accepting payments with digital rupees.
Reliance Retail has teamed up with Innoviti Technologies, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank for the launch.
The digital rupee is India’s central bank digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of Indian as fiat money.
The digital rupee was introduced in December 2022 for retail markets across select Indian cities in a pilot test.
Eight banks, including ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, have been chosen for the pilot phase. Customers of these banks will be able to transact with digital rupees (e₹) through a digital wallet.
Reliance Retail’s plans for the digital currency furthers the efforts of the Indian government to digitalise key services and infrastructure in the country, such as computerising the railway network and land records.
Payments will initially be accepted at Reliance Retail’s Freshpik store, then rolled out across the country to all of its stores.
Customers will use their digital rupee app to scan a QR code presented at the checkout before authorising the payment.
V Subramaniam, director at Reliance Retail, commented: “With more Indians willing to transact digitally, this initiative will help us provide yet another efficient and secure alternative payment method to customers at our stores.”
Bijith Bhaskar, head of digital channels and partnerships at ICICI Bank, said: “The Digital Rupee, which is a tokenised digital version of the Indian Rupee, is a resilient, safe and additional avenue to users for making payments. Increased acceptance of digital rupee would hasten its adoption among customers.”
Rajeev Agrawal, founder and chief executive officer at Innoviti Technologies, added: “India’s revolution in digital payment led to exponential increase in e-transactions yet, payment via cash continues to remain popular. Digital Rupee fulfils the need of consumers who still prefer the trust, safety and settlement finality of physical currency.”