The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is alleged to have asked 4 public sector banks to oversee a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project prototype. Additionally, the RBI is said to be in contact with a number of fintech companies. Among the fintechs on the list is the US-based FIS, which has been organising roundtable discussions and seminars on CBDCs with central bankers from across the globe. Julia Demidova, senior director at FIS, remarked:
“FIS has had a number of meetings with the RBI… and, of course, our linked ecosystem may be extended to the RBI to experiment with various CBDC possibilities.”
The fintech company provides central banks with advice on issues relating to CBDC, such as cross-border CBDC payments, interest-bearing CBDC, fractional banking issues, programmable payments, offline payments, and the new monetary policy toolbox. Whether it is a wholesale or retail CBDC transaction, Demidova noted:
“Our technology can also be extended to commercial banks where they may test and tokenize central bank money in the form of digital controlled money.”
Two bank executives claim that the RBI has enlisted four state-owned banks to oversee a pilot CBDC project. The RBI “has requested State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India, and Bank of Baroda to operate the domestic pilot,” according to an unnamed source.
There is a pilot on CBDCs, according to a well-known PSU bank officer who is said to have confirmed the development. This year, the RBI may make its debut. It has not yet been revealed when the product and its precise specs will be released.
Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister, was reported by PTI as stating, “It was a deliberate choice made after discussion with the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank. Although we would prefer that they create it how they see fit, this year we anticipate that the currency will originate from the central bank itself.”