Virtual Payments: Pine Labs, ICICI Bank to Enable Acceptance of Digital Rupee via PoS Terminals

Merchant commerce omnichannel platform, Pine Labs announced the acceptance of digital Rupee on its PoS terminals in partnership with ICICI Bank.

The technology integration “between the two entities will now support e₹ (Digital Rupee) acceptance at Pine Labs‘ point-of-sale terminals across key retail outlets in Mumbai and Bengaluru.”

Pine Labs’ execution of the Digital Rupee payment process “is completely digital via dynamic QR built within its smart Android PoS terminals.”

Commenting on the announcement, B Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs, said:

“CBDC and Digital Rupee opens up exciting opportunities. If implemented correctly, it can accelerate the migration from paper-based currency to digital. Pine Labs is happy to partner with ICICI Bank in launching CBDC as a payment option under this pilot run by the RBI.”

Mr. Bijith Bhaskar, Head – Digital Channels and 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 Pine Labs to make Digital Rupee an accepted payment mode at their merchant PoS terminals. This would present a seamless payment option to the users and improve the operational efficiency of merchants with Pine Labs PoS terminals.”

RBI’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot for both person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) digital Rupee transactions “is currently live with leading banks like State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First Bank, Union Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and HDFC Bank.”

This controlled retail CBDC pilot is “expected to expand to more banks, users, and locations, in addition to more applications.”

Once formally introduced pan India as a legal tender, Digital Rupee is “expected to deliver reduction in operational costs that goes into the management of physical cash, improve financial inclusion, and deliver resilience and efficiency in payment transactions.”

As covered, ICICI Bank Ltd (NYSE: IBN) claims it is “a leading private sector bank in India.”

The Bank’s consolidated total assets “stood at ₹ 15,84,207 crore at March 31, 2023.”

As covered, Pine Labs says it is “a leading merchant commerce omnichannel platform operating across India and Southeast Asia.”

Pine Labs’ tech-first approach to digital payments and focus on simplification at the front end aims “to help many businesses embrace fintech products at scale.”

In digital payments, their online payments cloud-based software Plural “represents a one-stop payments destination across channels.”

Plural is “designed to deliver secure and frictionless online payment experiences to the end user, powered by an advanced tech stack that can augment an existing online business or build an all-new e-commerce payment setup from the ground up.”

Their Issuing business is “powered by Qwikcilver – a proprietary and industry leading prepaid, stored value and gift card issuance, processing and distribution solution.”

Qwikcilver is described as “the platform of choice for leading enterprises including merchants, brands, e-commerce companies across categories in India, Middle East and Australia powering embedded issuing solutions that bolster sales, acquire and retain customers, drive operational efficiencies and improve cash flows.”

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