Reliance Retail has partnered with Innoviti Technologies, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank to enable acceptance of Reserve Bank of India-issued Digital Rupee at its stores. It is the first organised retail chain in India to accept Digital Rupee, it said. The acceptance of e-Rupee will first be launched at Reliance Retail’s Freshpik stores and will eventually extend to all Reliance Retail stores.
Reliance was also the first to introduce dynamic QR-based in-store UPI payments. The company stated that it aims to create a convenient and seamless payment experience for customers.
Innoviti Technologies, the technology partner to Reliance Retail, built this solution using advanced technology that integrates into the cashier billing system. After billing, if the customer opts for it, a dynamic Digital Rupee acceptance QR code will be presented to the customer for scanning.
Customers can simply scan the QR code on the terminal of the Digital Rupee app, powered by ICICI Bank or Kotak Mahindra Bank, and enter the passcode to authorise the payment through the e₹-R. The customer will get an instant notification of the payment.
Reliance Retail Director V Subramaniam said, “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. 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.”
Kotak Mahindra Bank President and Chief Digital Officer called it a “game changer”, while ICICI Bank Head – Digital Channels & Partnerships, Bijith Bhaskar called it a “historic milestone”.
“The history of money has had a riveting journey, evolving through barter, to coins, to notes and now is in its new digital avatar. India‘s revolution in digital payment led to exponential increase in e-transactions yet, payment via cash continues to remain popular. Digital Rupee fulfils the need of consumers who still prefer the trust, safety and settlement finality of physical currency,” said Rajeev Agrawal, founder & CEO, Innoviti Technologies Private Limited.
The Reserve Bank of India first introduced the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) on December 1, 2022 for retail markets across cities in a pilot mode. It was initially rolled out in four cities, including Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneshwar, and 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.
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