Innoviti Technologies in collaboration with Reliance Retail, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, on Thursday announced the launch of in-store acceptance of retail payments via Digital Rupee – Retail [eRs-R].
After being the first to introduce dynamic QR based in-store UPI payments, Reliance Retail, in continuance of its endeavour to create convenient and seamless payment experience for customers, becomes the first enterprise retailer to adopt India’s digital currency acceptance.
India empowered to pay via e Rs at retail stores. Digital Rupee [eRs], India’s Central Bank Digital Currency [CBDC] is issued by Reserve Bank of India as a digital token representing a legal tender and considered as Fiat money. Reliance Retail, powered by Innoviti Technologies, becomes the first organized retail chain in India, to create in-store acceptance of Digital Rupee [eRs-R] for its customers.
In-store payment acceptance via eRs-R is launched at Reliance Retail’s Freshpik store and will progressively extend to all Reliance Retail stores across the country. Advanced Innoviti Dynamic QR-code interface, which is deeply integrated with banking & merchant technology systems, makes in-store payments via eRs-R possible.
At Reliance Retail POS, the solution is able to accept eRs-R payments through all bank’s ‘Digital Rupee App’ wallet including Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank. eRs-R issued in the same denominations as that of paper currency & coins currently in use. Nation’s digital currency will accelerate digital modes of payments furthering the Digital India initiative.
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 eRs-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 eRs-R. Cashiers and consumers get instant confirmation of eRs 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, “eRs is a game-changer in the digital revolution unleashed in the country. All customers having eRs-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,” he added.
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,” he added.
On 1 December 2022, eRs-R was first introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for retail markets across 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 eRs 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.
As Digital Rupee Retail adoption increases, the larger society will benefit from its key features like convenience and security while person to person [P2P] and person to merchant [P2M] transactions and yield to improved financial inclusion in a digital economy.