The RBI is exploring the possibility of launching a digital version of rupee, the central bank has said. “Private digital currencies (PDCs)/virtual currencies (VCs)/crypto currencies (CCs) have gained popularity in recent years,” the RBI in its report, Payment and Settlement System in India, has said.

The report highlights steps taken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which have transformed India into a country riding high in the evolution of digital payments. “In India, the regulators and governments have been sceptical about these currencies and are apprehensive about the associated risks,” the RBI said.

The RBI said to measure the adoption of digital payments, it is essential to have geographical location of the payment system touch points, including bank branches, ATMs, PoS terminals, BCs, etc, across the country.

“In order to measure the adoption of digital payments, it is essential to have geographical location of the payment system touch points [bank branches, ATMs, PoS terminals, BCs, etc.] across the country. The Reserve Bank has already established a framework to capture these details,” he said.

The central bank aims to extend a similar framework to capture and maintain information about PoS terminals and other payment systems.

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India has witnessed significant growth in payments over the past decade with the introduction of numerous payment systems. “The challenge now is to sustain the growth in payments and ensure a shift in customer behaviour from cash to digital payments,” the RBI said.

It said fuel to the growth of retail payments has been provided by the central bank operated payment system viz., NEFT and creation of an umbrella entity (NPCI). “The approach has yielded results with many innovative products like UPI, IMPS, AEPS, BBPS, Bharat QR among others, ushering the country into the era of innovative and fast digital payments space and nurturing growth of retail payments,” the RBI added.

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