13 banks to participate in Russia’s CBDC pilot program

13 banks to participate in Russia's CBDC pilot program

The pilot program will start on August 15, 2023.
13 Russian banks will participate in the pilot program being conducted by the Bank of Russia (BoR).
During the test, users will be able to use digital rubles to make purchases at 30 retail locations spread across 11 Russian cities.

Less than a month after Vladimir Putin signed the digital rubles bill into law, the Bank of Russia (BoR) has announced that it will start using digital rubles for the project’s operational testing phase of Russia’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). The testing will start on August 15.

According to a statement made by the Bank of Russia, 13 banks and a small number of their clients will take part in the pilot tests.

The first deputy governor of the Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova claimed that the project’s pivotal stage will be the start of pilot operations using actual digital rubles. This step makes it easier to examine the functionality of the digital ruble platform in an industrial setting, fine-tune key procedures in consultation with clients, consider potential process changes, and guarantee a user-friendly and understandable client experience.


CBDC starting to be fully operational by 2025

The bank’s strategy, according to Skorobogatova, is to introduce the digital ruble into widespread use, based on the results of gradual testing and subject to the successful completion of extensive trials covering all potential operational uses for the digital ruble. The deputy governor stated that it is anticipated that beginning in 2025, individuals and organisations will be able to actively use the national digital currency upon their own initiative.

According to the announcement, the pilot program’s first stage will concentrate on streamlining fundamental procedures, such as the creation and funding of digital ruble accounts (also known as digital wallets), digital ruble transfers between people, simple automated payments, and the use of QR codes for transactions involving goods and services.

Participants in the pilot programme will be able to use digital rubles to make purchases at 30 retail locations spread across 11 Russian cities. By the end of 2023, it is planned to increase the number of pilot participants to include both individuals and companies.

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