HomeeducationRBI Governor Highlights CBDC's Transformative Role in Cross-Border Payments

RBI Governor Highlights CBDC’s Transformative Role in Cross-Border Payments

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das has underscored the potential of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in revolutionizing cross-border payments, emphasizing its role in efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and security. Speaking at the G20 TechSprint Finale, a collaborative event by RBI and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Das advocated for the adoption of CBDC technology.

India has emerged as one of the pioneering nations in the CBDC arena, with pilot projects for the e-rupee already underway in both wholesale and retail sectors. Das believes that as countries are in the early stages of CBDC adoption, focusing on the right technology platform with interoperability should be a priority.

CBDCs offer the advantage of instant settlement, a feature that can significantly enhance cross-border payment systems, making them faster, more affordable, and secure. India’s CBDC journey began with pilots for the digital rupee in November 2022 (wholesale) and December 2022 (retail).

Governor Das emphasized the gradual expansion of CBDC pilots to encompass more banks, cities, individuals, and use cases, with the data collected shaping future policies and strategies. India, under its G20 presidency, has placed a high priority on addressing challenges in cross-border payments, such as high costs, slow transactions, limited accessibility, and insufficient transparency.

Improving cross-border payment services can have far-reaching benefits, including enhanced economic growth, support for international trade, financial inclusion, and transparency. In this context, Das highlighted the transformative impact of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a real-time payment mechanism in India. UPI has played a pivotal role in India’s digital payments ecosystem, promoting financial inclusion by bringing millions of unbanked individuals into the formal financial system.

The recent milestone of over 10 billion monthly UPI transactions underscores its significance in India’s digital payment landscape. More than 70 mobile apps and over 50 million merchants currently accept UPI payments, fostering innovation in the fintech sector.

Governor Das also emphasized the RBI’s commitment to responsible innovation, with initiatives like the establishment of the FinTech department and the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH), along with the implementation of a Regulatory Sandbox framework. These efforts reflect India’s dedication to staying at the forefront of financial technology and digital innovation.

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