Russian carriers seek digital ruble mobile wallet role

Central Bank of Russia digital ruble graphic
SMART RUBLE: MNOs are planning to develop digital wallets to support Russia’s digital currency

Russian mobile network operators Beeline and MegaFon are looking to develop digital wallets for smartphones and other mobile devices that will support the central bank digital currency (CBDC) which is being developed by The Central Bank of Russia (CBR).

“We are interested in such aspects of using the digital ruble as maintaining wallets on smart devices, which is not provided for in the current version of the concept,” Beeline told Izvestia. “And also the ability to make P2P payment transactions without the participation of financial intermediaries, including offline.” 

“Linking a wallet to a subscriber number will enable more flexible management of digital currency: using a smartphone it will be possible to store funds, transfer and pay with them. Thanks to the massiveness of communication services, operators will be able to ensure the rapid launch and distribution of the digital ruble,” the newspaper reports MegaFon saying.

“The already existing services of cellular operators (for example, ‘Mobile ID’) can act as an identifier for binding the digital ruble to a wallet, and to ensure security, it is possible to write a user ‘s crypto keys to a SIM card,” Megafon added. 

The Central Bank of Russia “did not respond to a request from Izvestia about the concept of maintaining wallets on smart devices”, the Russian news outlet notes, adding that: “The largest banks explained that storing digital rubles in mobile phones or smart watches is a convenient option for the user, but it is safer and more efficient to leave settlements with credit institutions.”

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