HDFC Bank, the largest private sector lender in India, has become the first commercial bank to implement interoperability between United Payment Interface (UPI) and Central Bank Digital Currency.
This integration was launched on Thursday, making HDFC Bank one of the first banks in the country to complete the process.
The announcement comes shortly after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor T Rabi Sankar stated that such interoperability would be implemented in July.
In a statement, HDFC Bank stated, "We are pleased to announce the launch of UPI QR code interoperable with India's sovereign digital currency, Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)."
The bank now offers this feature, allowing customers to use UPI QR codes with the CBDC.
As part of the CBDC pilot programme, HDFC Bank already had over 100,000 customers and 170,000 merchants.
Overall, HDFC Bank has taken a significant step in integrating UPI and Central Bank Digital Currency, becoming the first commercial bank to do so.
HDFC Bank customers can now conveniently transact money from their CBDC wallet using a single UPI QR code. This eliminates the need to scan multiple QR codes at the same merchant.
Merchants can simply display one QR code at their storefront or through their acquiring bank's mobile application. They do not have to go through the hassle of changing their existing QR codes.
HDFC Bank will facilitate payments in Digital Rupee in various cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, and Gangtok.
According to Parag Rao, the country head of payments, consumer finance, technology and digital banking at HDFC Bank, the interoperability of CBDC with the widely popular UPI will greatly benefit its usage.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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