MOSCOW, September 1. /TASS/. All 13 banks involved in the digital ruble project, have been actively testing it, by now several thousand transactions with the digital ruble have already been made, Olga Skorobogatova, the first deputy chairman of the regulator, told reporters.
"Those 13 banks that we named, they have already begun to offer their customers the service of opening a digital ruble wallet and conducting transactions. I must say that we have already completed several thousand transactions, like transfers to each other, we also have completed payment operations in trade and service enterprises," she said.
Skorobogatova stressed that the platform of the Bank of Russia and interaction with banks are working.
"Of course, not everything goes smoothly, there are some incidents, but this is normal for a pilot [project]," she said.
Skorobogatova also said that the possibility of using the digital ruble offline could be implemented at the end of 2024.
The digital ruble will be an addition to the cash and non-cash ruble. One digital ruble will be equivalent to one ruble in cash or non-cash form. Like a banknote, each unit of the digital ruble will have a unique digital code.
The Bank of Russia noted that the digital ruble will not be a substitute for bank accounts and deposits: interest will not be charged on balances in the wallet, moreover, it is planned to introduce a limit on the amount of funds stored in them. This is needed to prevent an outflow of liquidity from banks and a decrease in lending.
Paying for goods and services using the digital ruble will be similar to paying with a QR code through the Faster Payments System. It will be possible to pay with the digital ruble offline, without access to the Internet. The client will transfer part of the digital rubles to a separate offline wallet. Its use will be similar to paying in cash, where credit cards are not accepted. The launch of the offline mode of the digital ruble is scheduled only at the second stage of the project, approximately in 2024. It is also planned to launch the exchange of the digital ruble for foreign currency and open wallets for non-residents.
As the Bank of Russia’s Chief Elvira Nabiullina stated at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the government on July 19, 2023, the mass introduction of the digital ruble could happen at the beginning of 2025.