The Bank of Russia has created a pilot group of 12 banks to test the digital ruble. The regulator plans to complete the creation of a platform for the central bank’s digital currency in December this year, testing will begin in January 2022.
The pilot group includes VTB, Sberbank, DOM.RF bank, Alfa-Bank, Tinkoff Bank, Promsvyazbank, Gazprombank, Ak Bars, SKB-Bank, Rosbank, Bank Soyuz “and” TKB Bank “.
“At the first stage, it is planned to test the issue of the digital ruble and a number of other operations. In the future, it is planned to expand the list of tested operations, as well as to increase the number of pilot participants, ”the Central Bank said.
Earlier, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, Olga Skorobogatova, stated that at the first stage, the regulator, together with credit institutions, would check the simplest operations with the digital ruble – transfers between individuals, as well as from individuals to legal entities when paying for goods and services.
Then, when it becomes clear that the new instrument is understandable to market participants and does not create any problems with liquidity, testing of more complex operations, for example, tax and budget payments, will begin.
Speaking about the differences between the digital ruble and non-cash payments, Soon Bogatova said that the platform of the new instrument, which has the properties of both cash and non-cash money, will provide all customers with the same conditions and tariffs for making transactions throughout the country, regardless of the service bank.
Now, when making payments in a mobile application, the user is forced to do so according to the rules of a particular credit institution, which sets its own commissions and conditions. A unified platform for the digital ruble will be implemented in retail banks’ applications through the Central Bank’s software module.
As a result, a client who is a user of the services of various credit institutions can easily replenish a digital wallet through one bank, transfer to another bank and pay through a third one.
The Central Bank will become the operator of the digital ruble platform. He will be responsible for issuing digital currency, as well as for opening wallets for financial institutions and performing customer transactions. Financial institutions, in turn, will open appropriate wallets for clients and carry out transactions in digital rubles.
The head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina believes that the digital ruble, the prototype of which is planned to be tested next year, will be in demand among Russians and businesses. However, according to her, the project is technically complex and the regulator needs to take into account a whole range of risks.