India to Test Digital Rupee in 4 Cities With 4 Banks

The test, which will start on Thursday, will be extended to include another nine cities and four more lenders in a later phase.

AccessTimeIconNov 29, 2022 at 12:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 29, 2022 at 1:54 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The Reserve Bank of India will start testing its retail central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital rupee, in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar with the initial participation of four banks, including the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and IDFC First Bank, the central bank announced Tuesday.

Later, the pilot program will extend to nine more cities and another four institutions will join, the RBI said.

The testing will be conducted with a select group of customers and merchants, and the CBDC will be issued in the same denominations now used for notes and coins. Payments to merchants will be made using QR codes, and, like cash, the digital rupee won't earn any interest.

The decision to start the pilot Dec. 1 was announced in October. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had revealed plans to issue a digital rupee in the financial year ending in 2023 during her budget speech in February. India's fiscal year ends on Feb. 28.

The RBI has said that private cryptocurrencies should be banned in India.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.