Reliance Retail, Innoviti Technologies, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank to Enable Acceptance of Digital Rupee

Innoviti Technologies in collaboration with Reliance Retail, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank announced the launch of in-store acceptance of retail payments via Digital Rupee – Retail [e₹-R].

After being the first to introduce dynamic QR based in-store UPI payments, Reliance Retail, in continuance of its endeavor “to create convenient and seamless payment experience for customers, becomes the first enterprise retailer to adopt India‘s digital currency acceptance.”

Innoviti Technologies, as a technology partner to Reliance Retail, has “architected this solution using advanced technology that integrates into the cashier billing system.” After billing, if a consumer chooses “to pay through e₹-R, a dynamic Digital Rupee acceptance QR code is presented to the consumer for scanning.”

Customers, using their choice of Digital Rupee app “powered by ICICI Bank or Kotak Mahindra Bank, need to simply scan the QR code on the terminal and enter their passcode to authorise payment through e₹-R.”

Cashiers and consumers “get instant confirmation of e₹ transfer from consumer to Reliance Retail.” The technology “enables automatic reconciliation.”

V. Subramaniam, Director, Reliance Retail Limited, said:

“This historic initiative of pioneering the digital currency acceptance at our stores is in line with the company’s strategic vision of offering the power of choice to Indian consumers. With more Indians willing to transact digitally, this initiative will help us provide yet another efficient and secure alternative payment method to customers at our stores.”

Deepak Sharma, President & Chief Digital Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, commented:

“e₹ is a game-changer in the digital revolution unleashed in the country. All customers having e₹-R wallets will now be able to enjoy an effortless, safe and instant way of digital transactions at Reliance Retail stores. Kotak is proud to be associated as a banking partner with Reliance Retail and Innoviti to take part in a digital revolution.”

Bijith Bhaskar, Head – Digital Channels & Partnerships, ICICI Bank, said:

“The introduction of CBDC or Digital Rupee is a historic milestone in the digital journey of India. India is among the select few countries globally to have its own digital currency. The Digital Rupee, which is a tokenised digital version of the Indian Rupee, is a resilient, safe and additional avenue to users for making payments. Increased acceptance of Digital Rupee would hasten its adoption among customers. We are delighted to partner with Reliance Retail and Innoviti Technologies to make Digital Rupee an accepted payment mode at Reliance Retail stores. This would present a seamless payment option to the users and improve the operational efficiency of Reliance Retail.”

Rajeev Agrawal, Founder & CEO, Innoviti Technologies Private Limited, said:

“The history of money has had a riveting journey, evolving through barter, to coins, to notes and now is in its new digital avatar. India’s revolution in digital payment led to exponential increase in e-transactions yet, payment via cash continues to remain popular. Digital Rupee fulfils the need of consumers who still prefer the trust, safety and settlement finality of physical currency. Innoviti is excited to be the first to offer a robust technology platform on which individuals can now transact using Digital Rupee with the same level of trust and ease as cash. Collaborating with Reliance Retail gives us the edge to create best-in-class solutions for the industry. Through strategic support of Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI bank as our banking partners, we have been able to create payment acceptance of India’s Digital Rupee a reality today.”

On Dec 1, 2022, e₹-R was first “introduced by the  for retail markets acrosReserve Bank of India (RBI)s select Indian cities in a pilot mode, with access limited to consumers of certain identified banks.”

Initially limited to four cities viz, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar, it “was later extended to nine other cities.”

Eight banks, “including ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank have been identified for phase-wise participation in this pilot. Customers of these banks will be able to transact with e₹ through a digital wallet offered by them.”

The scope of the pilot will be “expanded gradually to include more banks, users and locations as needed.”

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