The regulator plans to discuss the concept of the digital ruble with the market by June, then it will start testing it.
By April 1, 2021, the Bank of Russia must present the concept of a digital ruble functioning model. First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova, speaking on the Clubhouse platform (an international audio-social network in which communication takes place in thematic rooms live), noted that the commission for transfers of digital rubles is possible, but the regulator plans to discuss this issue with the market. Accordingly, there is no final decision on the commission yet, Skorobogatova emphasized.
She did not rule out that in the end a decision would be made to dispense with the commission in transfers of the digital ruble. Now each bank sets its own tariffs for money transfers of individuals. Rates can vary considerably. In some cases, they even amount to 1% of the transfer amount.
As a reminder, on October 13, 2020, the Bank of Russia published a document called “Digital Ruble” for public consultation. This term is defined as an additional form of the Russian national currency to be digitally issued by the Bank of Russia. The digital ruble combines the properties of cash and non-cash rubles. Like non-cash money, the digital ruble makes remote payments and online settlements possible. On the other hand, like cash, the digital ruble can be used offline – if there is no Internet access.
“The main mission of the digital ruble is to make settlements and payments faster, easier, cheaper and more reliable,” explained Sergei Shvetsov, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia, last November.
The regulator plans to discuss the concept of the digital ruble with the market until June 1, 2021, and then will start testing it. The Central Bank has already held discussions with representatives of payment systems, members of the FinTech Association and experts in the payment market, as well as with analysts in the field of macroeconomics.
“We, of course, believe that a digital wallet should open for free. In terms of transfers and transfer fees, these should be minimal fees. We do not plan to accrue interest on the balance on the wallet, “Bloomberg writes, referring to Olga Skorobogatova’s quote from Interfax.
By the end of 2021, it is planned to make a prototype, which from the beginning of 2022 can enter the phase of “accurate” testing, Skorobogatova indicated the timing.