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Reliance Retail becomes first retailer to accept the Digital Rupee

Reliance Retail has become the first organised retail chain in India to start accepting Digital Rupee [e₹-R] at its stores.

The Mukesh Ambani-led firm has partnered with Innoviti Technologies, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank to enable acceptance of the Digital Rupee at its Freshpik store in Mumbai. After billing, if a consumer chooses to pay through e₹, a dynamic Digital Rupee acceptance QR code is presented which the consumer can scan to make the purchase, after which cashiers and consumers get instant confirmation of e₹ transfer from the consumer to Reliance Retail.

Reliance will later extend the facility to its other stores across the country.

“This historic initiative of pioneering 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,” V Subramaniam, Director at Reliance Retail said in a statement.

The e₹-R was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in December last year 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—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.

“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,” Deepak Sharma, President and Chief Digital Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, added.

According to Bijith Bhaskar, Head – Digital Channels and Partnerships, ICICI Bank, the introduction of CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) 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,” Bijith said.

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