Bank of Russia: digital ruble will be implemented as scheduled
“Since January 2022, we have been testing the digital ruble platform with banks. There are twelve of them who applied to join the pilot group,” Interfax quotes her statement at a meeting of the State Duma working group. “I must say that not all banks were technically prepared to join this testing, and we divided them into several groups so that they could make enhancements on their side. But at the same time, we do not want to change the deadlines, we do not want to lengthen any stages, because we believe that the digital ruble is essential for the economy, citizens and businesses; we are following our plan.”
The prototype of the digital ruble platform was created in December 2021. Pilot operations started in February 2022. Only three banks from the pilot group were able to connect to the platform at that time. Two of them (PSB and VTB) were the first to successfully complete a full cycle of digital ruble transfers between citizens using banking mobile applications. The largest Russian bank, Sberbank, reported that it could not connect to the platform and was taking the necessary organizational and technical measures for this purpose.
The agency recalls that the digital ruble platform will be tested in several stages throughout 2022. As part of the first stage, it is planned to connect credit organizations to the platform and launch C2C transfers (between individuals) in 2022. At the second stage, it is planned to connect the Federal Treasury to the platform, launch smart contracts, and C2B, B2C, B2B, C2G, G2C, G2B, B2G operations.
Testing of payment for goods and services with the digital ruble is scheduled for autumn 2022. In the future, the Bank of Russia plans to ensure the exchange of the digital ruble for foreign currency, to enable non-resident clients to open wallets. Besides, it is planned to connect financial intermediaries (non-bank payment service providers, NPSP), financial infrastructure (exchanges, brokers, marketplaces, insurance companies, etc.) to the platform, as well as implement an offline mode.