India is moving ahead with the next stage of its digital rupee pilot, adding programmability and offline payment capability.
India has been testing a retail CBDC since early last year, enabling person-to-person and person-to-merchant transactions, recently hitting the million transactions a day milestone.
The Reserve Bank of India is now set to add programmability, enabling transactions for specific and targeted purposes.
At a press conference, RBI officials offered the example of a business programming specific expenditure such as business travel for employees.
Questioned about the impact on fungibility, deputy governor T Rabi Sankar used another example: a school awards a student money to buy books at a store. The money is not fungible for a period but becomes fungible again once received by the store.
The RBI is also set to test offline functionality, a key consideration to ensure that the eRupee works in areas with poor or limited internet connectivity. Several pilots will test different options in locations such as mountainous areas.