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E-Rupi Pilot Project

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will be issued by Reserve Bank of India and will be accepted as legal tender throughout India. Just like the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) this is also a product of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and hence many people are expecting some kind of integration between both but no confirmation of any such is available yet. This is a digital token which will have a specified value assigned to it (just like currency notes). Government is running the pilot project with selected individuals and merchants and at the current stage this is an only invitee accessible service.

Currently, the Banks Participating in the pilot project are: 1. State Bank of India

2. ICICI Bank

3. Yes Bank

4. IDFC First Bank

5. Bank of Baroda

6. Union Bank of India

7. HDFC Bank

8. Kotak Mahindra Bank

User Interface (UI)

As I was invited to the program, I have a firsthand experience about how this service works and would be sharing the user experience of the service.

Unlike UPI where banks act as an intermediary, CBDC lets you store money like a wallet (that too in the denomination you please) and directly send the money just like you would in a currency note.

Source : Forward Media Group

The Denomination of notes and coins available are:

Source : Forward Media Group

Just like really currency these also come with a Unique serial number assigned to them. Prospect of Usage

E- Rupi can be used to pay merchants just like we currently do with UPI. But the use case is wider, Government in an attempt to stop corruption is going to issue people balance under specific schemes and they can be redeemed only for that specific purpose.


A Farmer is granted funds by the government to buy fertilizers, now this monetary balance would be transferred to his E- Rupi Wallet and can only be redeemed to purchase fertilizers. The benefit being as the balance would be directly credited to the beneficiary, chances of corruption by the DDO (Drawing and Disbursement Officer) or any other intermediary would be eliminated. And the funds allocated would be used for the designated purpose.

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