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More Russian Banks Say They’ll Join Digital Ruble Pilot – CBDC Advances?

today 10/11/2023
More Russian Banks Say They’ll Join Digital Ruble Pilot – CBDC Advances? More Russian banks will join the digital ruble pilot, with Center-invest Bank, which mainly operates in the nation’s south, set to trial the CBDC next year. Center-invest Bank has signed a digital ruble partnership agreement with the CBDC’s operator, the Central Bank. This move will see the Rostov-on-Don-based bank join a second group of banks that will let clients use the coin in real-world scenarios. The media outlet reported that this group is now preparing systems and protocols to test operations with the digital ruble. A first batch of Russian banks, including heavyweights like VTB, began piloting the coin with 600 of their clients and employees in 11 cities nationwide in August. The Moscow Metro has also begun accepting digital ruble payments. The first batch of 13 banks also includes Rosbank. However, Sberbank, the biggest bank in Russia, pulled out just prior to the CBDC pilot launch, dealing a blow to the Central Bank. There are currently no indications that Sberbank will request to join the second group of banks. The Center-invest Bank's move is significant as it is headquartered outside the Russian capital and caters mostly to Southern Russian customers and firms. This could indicate that Russia may follow the Chinese CBDC playbook, where larger state-run banks were the first to join the digital yuan pilot, followed by regional banks. The identity of the rest of the second batch of banks is yet to be officially confirmed, but the Central Bank has previously stated that this group will join the pilot in 2024 and will consist of 16 banks. A senior Center-invest Bank executive expressed that participating in the digital ruble pilot will provide the opportunity to experience the advantages of using digital currencies and improve their future payment infrastructure. The bank was founded in 1992 by a group of privatized Southern Russian companies.
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