Kochi, India (Urban Transport News): IDFC FIRST Bank and Anantham Online, a technology startup focused on digital parking solutions have partnered to enable acceptance of Digital Rupee at Kochi Metro’s parking locations. This partnership comes at the back of the recently launched CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), a pilot program launched by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) for retail users.
This project will help Kochi Metro users to pay digitally using their Bank’s CBDC Wallets and avoid cash transactions. Currently, CBDC is in the first phase of its implementation with 4 banks including IDFC FIRST Bank. Digital Rupee acts just like cash transactions to instill safety and trust.
Madhivanan Balakrishnan, COO, IDFC FIRST Bank, said “This partnership will transform the way customers pay, and make it more seamless and hassle-free. Digitization of cash payments aims to make transactions easier for our customers and is in line with our Customer first philosophy.”
"Extremely delighted that the IDFC First bank steered CBDC system will be made applicable in the collection of parking fees from the parked vehicles at metro station parking areas. It is a matter of pride to acknowledge the fact that Kochi Metro is the first metro in the country to implement the E-rupee, which appear today as the future of currency. Our parking service provider Anantham Online and IDFC First Bank have come together to bring this remarkable endeavor," commented Loknath Behra, Managing Director, Kochi Metro Rail Limited.
"Anantham Online is in an endeavor to bring the latest technology to the common man in the fastest possible way. We have always strived to be the pioneers in digital transformation for the sake of our clients and customers. We are thankful to IDFC First bank and Kochi Metro for helping us launching e-rupee and FASTag enabled parking fee collection which helped us achieve yet another milestone in our journey. We also take this opportunity to congratulate Kochi metro for being one of the earliest adopters of CBDC in Kerala in the pilot phase of the CBDC program," said Neethu Rajasekharan, Director, Ananthan Online.
The retail CBDC will be mainly used for retail payments just like “Cash”. It will be a digital rupee (e₹-R) signifying legal tender in the form of digital token and issued in the same denominations as paper currency and coins and will be distributed through intermediaries, i.e., banks. As per RBI, users will be able to transact with e₹-R through a digital wallet offered by the participating banks and stored on mobile phones or hardware wallets to facilitate person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions. The e₹-R will continue to offer features of physical cash of safety, trust, and settlement finality. As in the case of cash, it will not earn any interest and can be converted to other forms of money, like deposits with banks.