Indian rapid transit system to trial digital rupee for contactless parking payments

Kochi Metro, India, rapid transit system train entering station
DIGITAL RUPEE: Kochi Metro users will soon be able to pay for parking using a CBDC wallet on their phone

Passengers using rapid transit services operated by Kochi Metro in the Indian state of Kerala will soon be able to make contactless parking payments with the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) as part of a digital rupee pilot programme launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The public transportation provider is to roll out support for digital rupee payments acceptance at all its metro station car parks, enabling passengers with a CDBC wallet issued by one of the four banks participating in the RBI pilot to make cash-free contactless parking payments with their smartphone.

Kochi Metro is the first metro network in India to begin accepting digital rupee payments and is launching the service with support from IDFC First Bank and digital parking solutions provider Anantham Online.

“This project will help Kochi Metro users to pay digitally using their bank’s CBDC wallets and avoid cash transactions. Currently CBDC is in the first phase of its implementation with four banks including IDFC First Bank. Digital rupee acts just like cash transactions to instil safety and trust,” IDFC First Bank says.

The RBI launched the first phase of its retail CBDC pilot in December after it revealed plans  in October 2022 to trial a prototype digital rupee.

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