India's Central Bank RBI Launches CBDC Pilot in Call Money Market

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has initiated a pilot for a second use case of its wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC), focusing on the call money market. The Indian central bank reportedly plans to expand its e-rupee testing to cover the entire wholesale segment, including asset tokenization and repo transactions.

RBI Begins Testing Second Use Case of Its Wholesale CBDC

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has begun testing its wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the call money market, Money Control reported Thursday, citing two unnamed people who claimed to be aware of the development. One of them was quoted as saying:

We have started the wholesale CBDC pilot in the call money market and some deals have also taken place.

The call money market is an essential part of the Indian money market, where banks and other financial institutions trade their surplus funds overnight or for a few days at market rates.

Nine of the banks involved in this digital rupee pilot are the same banks that participated in the RBI’s wholesale pilot for government securities initiated in November last year, the sources further mentioned. The nine banks are State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First Bank, and HSBC. One of the sources told the news outlet:

All the banks are the same, just Federal Bank is added.

Moreover, Business Standard reported Thursday that additional use cases will be tested in the coming days, citing their own sources familiar with the Indian central bank’s wholesale CBDC pilot. “The roadmap is that the entire wholesale segment should be covered like asset tokenization where securities will be tokenized, repo transactions, etc.,” the publication quoted one of the sources as saying. “E-rupees will move from bond to call money to repo. Once the entire segment is covered, then a final pilot will be done for the entire wholesale segment.”

In addition to testing the digital rupee in the wholesale segment, the RBI initiated a CBDC pilot in the retail segment in December last year. Last month, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das revealed that India’s central bank digital currency has been rolled out to approximately 1.46 million users. He added that the retail digital rupee pilot is being operated through 13 banks in 26 cities, and over 300,000 merchants accepted payments in CBDCs.

What do you think about the RBI piloting a second use case for its CBDC in the wholesale segment? Let us know in the comments section below.

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