Canara Bank Rolls Out CBDC App Interoperable With UPI, Users Highlight Issues
Canara Bank Rolls Out CBDC App Interoperable With UPI, Users Highlight Issues

Canara Bank of India has launched a new mobile app focused on bringing the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC) experiment to the next critical stage, enabling mass adoption. The app, called Canara Digital Rupee, will allow select bank customers to pay for their daily utility bills via the eRupee CBDC. The app will be interoperable with UPI, letting testers scan existing UPI QR codes to process their CBDC payments as part of a CBDC pilot overseen by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The launch of the app this week makes Canara Bank the first major Indian bank to create a special platform to enable CBDC payments.

Founded in 1906 and currently venturing into the Web3 space in India, the bank posted an official update on X, announcing the new platform and quoting the bank’s CEO.

K. Satyanarayana Raju, Managing Director and CEO, Canara Bank said, “UPI Interoperable Digital Rupee App is a revolutionary step in the digitization of the Indian economy and will enable customers to enjoy the benefits of fast and secure transactions using digital currencies. “

The app is available for download on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, however, eRupee CBDC is currently only available to customers who have received a formal invitation to participate in this trial.

“The Canara Digital Rupee app facilitates secure and fast digital currency transactions using a digital rupee wallet. This digital rupee wallet will be like your physical wallet, but in a digital form,” reads the app’s description on the Play Store.

The Canara Digital Rupee app has so far been rated 760 stars out of 3.5 out of 5 on the Play Store. On the App Store, the app has a 4 out of 5 rating based on 44 ratings.

The app’s review section on Android and iOS reflects some grievances and suggestions from people who have tried it.

From slow app installs to eRupee slow loading – the app testers highlighted some key points that Canara Bank needed to address. This includes the obvious issue of transaction history not being available if the app is uninstalled.

The app’s testers further asked Canara Bank to refine the app’s interface and provide detailed instructions on how eRupee would benefit first-time users of the platform.

The app has also received feedback on X (formerly Twitter).

Currently, several large state-owned and private banks including State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank are participating in the ongoing CBDC trials alongside the RBI. Selected small, medium and large merchants, including Reliance retail outlets, are also helping the RBI to test how smoothly CBDC transactions will work in a real-world retail environment.

The retail digital rupee pilot starts on December 1, 2022 in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneshwar.

It was only in July this year that the RBI first hinted that eRupee might be integrated with existing UPI QR codes.

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