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Russian Banks Start Testing Digital Ruble Payments

Banks in Russia are preparing to dive into the pilot phase of the digital ruble project, and some are already testing transactions with the currency. Trials of customer-to-customer (C2C) payments have begun, and Bank of Russia plans to expand the types of operations in the future.

Digital ruble pilot starts with 12 participating banks

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) completed the prototype of the digital ruble platform in December and is now beginning to experiment with transactions. A dozen banks were invited to participate in the first phase of the project’s pilot phase. The monetary authority is planning to successively expand the group of participants to include other financial service providers and types of business.

Currently, the majority of Russian banks are preparing to start testing the new central bank digital currency (CBDC), Tass reported after contacting the institutions. One of them, Promsvyazbank (PSB), is currently processing C2C payments, Maxim Khrustalev, adviser to the bank’s deputy chairman, told the news agency.

After the customer-to-customer transactions, “the technical testing of C2B, B2C and B2B payments begins. Based on the results of the pilot, the Bank of Russia will start introducing the digital ruble platform into commercial operations,” Khrustalev added.

Tinkoff Bank is also joining efforts to test the new, digital form of the Russian fiat. “Tinkoff is preparing to pilot the digital ruble in the near future,” the online neobank said in a statement. Tinkoff has recently entered the crypto space acquire a majority stake in Swiss-registered fintech startup Aximetria.

Another major Russian bank, VTB, said its infrastructure is ready to drive the digital ruble. “The pilot project includes integration with the digital ruble platform and the launch of services such as opening a wallet through a mobile application and digital ruble transfers between individuals,” the bank’s press office explained.

According to Vitaly Kopysov, Chief Innovation Officer at SKB-Bank, the digital ruble will become a driver for the development of new national payment services for citizens and businesses. Speaking to Tass, he elaborated:

The digital ruble will give an additional impetus to the creation of offline cashless payment services for companies without Internet access at a point of sale, which is very important given the geography of the Russian Federation.

Russia’s central bank has retained one hard attitude on cryptocurrencies and recently suggested a sweeping ban on crypto-related activities. It started considering a digital ruble three years ago and decided to explore options to issue CBDC in 2020 when it published a consultation paper on the subject. In April 2021, the bank released a digital ruble concept outlining its main architecture.

Other banks participating in the first phase of the pilot include Ak Bars, Alfa-Bank, Dom.rf Bank, Gazprombank, Rosbank, Sberbank, Bank Soyuz and Transcapitalbank. The Federal Treasury will join along with financial intermediaries in the second tier when conducting transactions between individuals and businesses, including consumer-to-business (С2B), business-to-business (B2B), and business-to-government (B2G) transactions.

Do you think that Russia will be able to successfully introduce a digital ruble? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Russian Banks Start Testing Digital Ruble Payments, Crypto Trading News

Lubomir Tasev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchen’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, not what I do.” Along with crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and business are two other sources of inspiration.

photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, WikiCommons

Source: Crypto News Austria

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