The central bank has formed a pilot group of 12 banks to test the digital ruble system, the regulator said in a statement. The development of a prototype platform for the digital ruble is planned to be completed in December of this year, and testing will begin in January 2022.
“It will take place in several stages throughout the year. Based on the results of this work, a roadmap for the introduction of the digital ruble will be drawn up, “- follows from the message of the Central Bank. “To organize such interaction, we promptly formed the first pilot group of banks, so that they had time to set up their systems and processes for piloting from a technical and technological point of view,” noted Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank.
At the first stage, it is planned to test the issue of the digital ruble and a number of other operations. In the future, it is planned to expand the list of tested operations, as well as to increase the number of pilot participants.
Earlier, Skorobogatova explained that at the first stage, the regulator, together with credit institutions, will test the simplest operations with the digital ruble – transfers between individuals, as well as from individuals to legal entities when paying for goods and services. Then, when it becomes clear that market participants understand how the system works, and the Central Bank sees that the new instrument does not create problems with liquidity, testing of more complex operations will begin – paying taxes and transferring budget payments.
Speaking about the difference between the digital ruble and non-cash payments, Skorobogatova said that the platform of this new instrument, which has the properties of both cash and non-cash money, will provide all customers with the same conditions and tariffs for transactions throughout the country, regardless of the service bank. So, at the moment, when making a payment or transfer through a mobile application, the user is forced to do this according to the rules of a particular credit institution, which itself sets commissions and selects conditions. While the digital ruble platform will be unified, it will be introduced into bank applications through the Central Bank’s software module. As a result, a client who is a user of the services of several credit institutions will be able to seamlessly replenish a digital wallet through one bank, make a transfer through another, and make payments through a third.
The operator of the digital ruble platform will be the Central Bank. It will be used to issue this currency, as well as open wallets for financial institutions themselves and execute customer orders for transactions. Financial institutions, in turn, will open the respective wallets of clients and conduct their transactions with the new currency.