The banks that connected to the Central Bank’s digital ruble platform were state-owned banks — VTB, PSB and GPB. The first two banks also carried out the first transaction on the platform. The remaining nine banks participating in the pilot project should connect to the platform in the next two months. At the next stage, in addition to banks, financial intermediaries will also be involved in testing the digital ruble – the Central Bank received ten more applications from potential participants in the pilot.
Today, the Bank of Russia announced that, as part of a pilot project, three banks have connected to the digital ruble platform, and a transaction has already been completed between the clients of two of them to transfer funds using mobile applications. The first transaction using the digital ruble took place between the clients of PSB and VTB banks. Bank customers opened digital wallets on the digital ruble platform through a mobile application, exchanged non-cash rubles from their accounts for digital ones, and then transferred digital rubles between themselves.
According to Kommersant, Gazprombank became the third bank connected to the platform. The deputy chairman of the board of the bank, Dmitry Sauers, confirmed to Kommersant that GPB was one of the first banks to connect to the digital ruble platform.
“At the moment, Gazprombank is carrying out internal improvements to IT systems for testing C2C transactions,” he said.
In addition to these banks, Ak Bars, Alfa-bank, Dom.RF, Rosbank, Sberbank, SKB-bank, Soyuz, Tinkoff-bank, Transcapitalbank are participating in the pilot project. According to a Kommersant survey, they are in varying degrees of readiness to connect to the platform. In particular, Sberbank reported that they are currently carrying out organizational and technical measures to connect to the digital ruble platform, are finalizing their software systems, have already created and conducted the first test requests on the test bench of the Central Bank’s digital ruble platform. Director for Innovation and Data Management of Rosbank Olga Makhova explained that the speed of connection to the platform depends on the internal systems of the bank, on the manufacturability of the mobile application.
As explained in the Bank of Russia, in order to connect to the platform, banks from the pilot group go through the stage of technological procedures, and then proceed directly to piloting operations with the digital ruble. “Nine banks carry out IT improvements on their side. Most of them will connect in the next two months,” the Central Bank said. At the same time, they noted that they received ten additional applications not only from banks, but also from other market participants.
“It is important for us to test operations with the digital ruble not only with banks, but also with companies that are either already financial intermediaries or plan to become them in the future,” explained the Bank of Russia, adding that the second stage of testing should begin this fall. .
According to Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, during the year they will test various scenarios and refine the digital ruble platform. “At the first stage, the issuance of digital rubles, the opening of digital wallets for banks and citizens, as well as transfers between citizens will be tested. At the second stage, it is planned to test operations for payment for goods and services in trade and service enterprises, payments for public services, the implementation of smart contracts, as well as interaction with the Federal Treasury,” the regulator said in a statement.
According to Vitaly Kopysov, Innovation Director at SKB Bank, the digital ruble is an excellent tool for controlling the use of state subsidies, such as maternity capital, when payments will not go through the Federal Treasury, but directly from the digital ruble wallet. “It is unlikely that in the near future the digital ruble will dominate other forms of the national currency in ordinary settlements and transactions of citizens,” he said.