UPI integration by Yes Bank boosts digital rupee use

By: Dickson Arinze

UPI integration by Yes Bank boosts digital rupee use

September 2, 2023 6:36 AM

Since its test introduction in December, the Indian retail CBDC has witnessed a number of projects, but the integration of UPI into the Yes Bank app is the first of its kind.

Yes Bank said→ on August 30 that the digital rupee issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will soon have improved functionality. This was made possible by the UPI/RBI digital rupee integration provided by Yes Bank. Customers of Yes Bank can now use their smartphones to pay for goods and services using the digital rupee by scanning UPI QR codes.

The Reserve Bank of India's National Payments Corporation (NPCI) manages the UPI as a unified platform for all Indian citizens to make and receive payments. Both the UPI and the digital rupee rely on the infrastructure provided by the NPCI. According to reports→ in the local news, the UPI is used by over 150 million merchants in India.

The Yes Bank app is the first to incorporate the UPI with the CBDC, the digital currency issued by the central bank. In a statement, Ajay Rajan, an executive of Yes Bank, said.

"The move to an interoperable CBDC platform will provide YES BANK's clients with improved convenience, productivity, and access to a wider range of financial services. […] The increased ease of use and availability provided by this game-changer will lead to a dramatic increase in CBDC adoption."

There were originally eight different banks involved during the retail digital rupee trial experiment that began in December, and Yes Bank was one of them. By February, the scheme had processed 800,000 transactions totaling $134 million and involved 5,000 merchants who participated and 50,000 CBDC users. In November, a separate digital rupee wholesale trial program was introduced.

Reliance Retail, the largest retail chain in the country, has begun accepting the digital rupee through a QR code scheme launched in February in collaboration with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Innovative Technologies.