India’s largest private sector bank, HDFC Bank has revealed that they got over 100,000 signups for the Digital Rupee pilot program, and along with that, they also claimed to have onboarded over 170,000 merchants to the central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot.
While announcing the numbers, HDFC also announced the integration of the digital rupee with the unified payment interface (UPI), India’s instant payment system.
Speaking on the integration, the head of payments and digital banking at the bank, Parag Rao, described it as the “best in class.”
“CBDC is a forward-looking initiative, and its QR interoperability with the already accepted and widely popular UPI is going to prove greatly beneficial to its usage.”
The Reserve Bank of India had urged the push for the Digital Rupee and from the current transaction count of 5000-10000, they are targeting a million transactions a day by the end of the year. The central bank is not working only with HDFC, as it is a collective effort and 13 commercial banks are a part of this initiative. Collectively, the banks have signed up 1.3 million users and 300,000 merchants, RBI Deputy Governor Rabi Sankar recently mentioned.
While trying to challenge cryptocurrency in India, CBDC issued by the RBI has aimed at creating an option of payment that is digitally used yet is not really different from the issued banknotes. This led to the inception of Digital Rupee, also called as e₹.