Reliance Retail starts accepting digital currency for payments

Customers, using their choice of digital rupee app need to simply scan the QR code  and enter their passcode to authorise payment through e- rupee.

Published: 02nd February 2023 05:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2023 05:41 PM   |  A+A-

Rs 100 notes, Rupee, Cash, money, Economy

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo| IANS)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: In a major push to the adoption of Central Bank Digital Currency (CDDC), Reliance Retail started accepting digital rupee or e-rupee for payments at its store.

Initially, the payment through digital currency has been started in Reliance Retail’s Freshpik store in Mumbai but will soon be expanded to other 17,000 stores of India’s largest retailer.

"This historic initiative of pioneering the digital currency acceptance at our stores is in line with the company’s strategic vision of offering the power of choice to Indian consumers,” said V Subramaniam, Director of Reliance Retail, addressing a press conference.

"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," he added.

Reliance Retail has partnered with Innoviti Technologies, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank to enable acceptance of the digital rupee. 

Customers, using their choice of digital rupee app powered by ICICI Bank or Kotak Mahindra Bank, need to simply scan the QR code on the terminal and enter their passcode to authorise payment through e- rupee. Cashiers and consumers get instant confirmation of e- rupee transfer from consumer to Reliance Retail. The technology enables automatic reconciliation.

"e- rupee is a game-changer in the digital revolution unleashed in the country. All customers having e₹-R wallets will now be able to enjoy an effortless, safe and instant way of digital transactions at Reliance Retail stores,” said Deepak Sharma, President & Chief Digital Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank

On December 1, 2022, digital rupee was first introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for retail markets across select Indian cities in a pilot mode, with access limited to consumers of certain identified banks. Initially limited to four cities viz, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar. It was later extended to nine other cities. Eight banks, including ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, have been identified for phase-wise participation in this pilot. 

Customers of these banks will be able to transact with e-rupee through a digital wallet offered by them. The scope of the pilot will be expanded gradually to include more banks, users and locations as needed.

"The introduction of CBDC or Digital Rupee is a historic milestone in the digital journey of India. India is among the select few countries globally to have its own digital currency. 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,” said Bijith Bhaskar, Head - Digital Channels & Partnerships at ICICI Bank.  

As Digital Rupee Retail adoption increases, the larger society will benefit from its key features like convenience and security while person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions and yield to improved financial inclusion in a digital economy.


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