Russia’s Digital Ruble Integrated Into Banking App

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VTB has become the first Russian bank to add a digital ruble to its mobile application. The integration is currently being tested with accounts set up for legal entities. In the coming months, select customers will be given access and will be able to participate in the trial.

VTB’s mobile app to support digital ruble transfer and payment

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VTB Bank has led the way among financial institutions in Russia to develop a prototype feature that allows users of its banking app to open accounts and make transfers with a digital version of the national fiat currency.

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Some customers will be allowed to conduct test transactions with the digital ruble in 2023, the bank’s press service announced. Quoted by RBC Crypto, VTB Executive Board Vice Chairman Vadim Kulik explained:

At this stage, we are testing the opening of a wallet for legal entities, we have already managed to register a legal entity, set up a wallet for it and generate a stable QR code to pay for purchases are.

During Finnopolis-2022, a platform for innovative financial technologies, the bank demonstrated a facility to purchase digital financial assets, or coins and tokens, with the digital ruble, with the issuer under existing Russian law. It will be available to the customers next year also.

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The bank is also preparing to launch an exchange function that will allow conversion between digital ruble and regular electronic money by 2024.

The Bank of Russia introduced the concept for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in October 2020 and finalized its prototype platform in December 2021. The pilot phase of the project was started in January this year.

In May, the monetary authority announced that it plans to start testing the digital ruble in real transactions between customers in April 2023. In June, amid sanctions imposed over Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, the regulator said it was accelerating schedules for the project. It aims for a full launch in 2024.

About a dozen commercial banks and other financial institutions have joined the trials. After cash and bank money, the digital ruble will be the third form of Russian currency. It is expected to have both cash and non-cash ruble properties to facilitate both online and offline payments.

Do you think the Central Bank of Russia will accelerate the implementation of the Digital Ruble? Tell us in the comments section below.

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