Retail digital currency will be a big gain for the economy, say experts

Experts have welcomed the Reserve Bank of India’s move to launch the first pilot for retail digital Rupee (e₹-R) on December 1t as it will be easier to transact via digital currency stored on wallets in mobile phones/devices.

V. Vaidyanathan, Managing Director & CEO, IDFC First Bank, said: “Today India spends close to ₹5,000 crore a year in printing physical cash. .

“Moving to Digital currency will be a huge gain for environment, and for our trees. Further, digital currency is easier to carry than cash.

“You can carry only limited currency in your pocket. It would get bulky beyond, say, ₹2000-2500 . CBDC is currency in the same denominations.

“By the way, you can see the currency notes on your mobile. And it is more secure too. Today if you lose your wallet you lose your cash, unlike in digital currency. Over time this is a big gain,” opined the IDFC First Bank chief.

RBI has done a wonderful job putting this together, the concept, technology, blockchain, reconciliation etc, he added.

Vaidyanathan observed that for the common person, digital currency is more anonymous than the current and the traditional digital transactions, as these are wallet to wallet and not touching the bank account for every transaction.

Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said: “The participation of both merchants and customers will help in creating greater awareness and build trust around CBDC. When it comes to payments done at merchants’ outlets, QR codes are already working wonders. With e₹-R also being supported via QR codes at these outlets, we hope to see greater adoption.

“Retail CBDCs hold the potential to move Bharat towards a more inclusive financial ecosystem.”

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