Of the total erupee in circulation, ₹10.69 crore was wholesale CBDC and ₹5.70 crore retail CBDC, data showed.
Erupee is the digital representation of India’s legal tender and similar to the physical currency; it is issued in various denominations to banks.
The circulation was highest for ₹500 CBDC notes at ₹2.71 crore, followed by ₹200 notes at 1.16 per cent.
Circulation for all other currency denominations from 50 paise to ₹100 ranged between 0.01 per cent and 0.83 per cent.
The RBI introduced the CBDC pilot for the wholesale segment, known as the CBDC (W), in November 2022, with the use case being limited to settlement of secondary market transactions in government securities.
The central bank is now looking to expand the use of erupee to other interbank money markets.
The retail pilot, known as CBDC (R) was launched a month later in December 2022, within a closed user group comprising participating customers, banks and merchants. Initially launched with eight public and private sector banks, the retail erupee has now been extended to more banks and made interoperable with UPI QR codes.
In July, RBI Deputy Governor T Rabi Sankar had said that there are 13 banks involved in the retail CBDC pilot for UPI interoperability, however, extending it to the remaining top 20–25 banks will take some more time.
UPI interoperability will facilitate erupee payments through the use of existing QR codes for the UPI ecosystem. Even if the merchant does not have a CBDC wallet, CBDC payments via UPI will allow for the erupee to be deposited in the merchant’s or receiver’s bank account.
On September 15, at the sidelines of an event Sankar had said that with interoperability now completed and implemented, the focus is on increasing the volume of erupee transactions.
“It is roughly around 15,000 (transactions) a day or so, we will have to take it to one million (10 lakh). Initially our efforts, over the last 11.5 months, has been to make it interoperable with the UPI QR codes. With that process done, we’ll focus on the transactions,” he had said.