The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently launched a pilot project on coin vending machines (CVMs) in select cities across the country. The initiative is aimed at promoting digital transactions and reducing the dependence on physical currency.
The pilot project will cover six cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai. The RBI has already installed 1,000 CVMs in various locations, such as shopping malls, railway stations, and bus stands, in these cities. The machines will allow people to deposit coins and get a voucher or a credit in their bank account, e-wallet, or mobile app.
The new initiative is part of the RBI’s efforts to modernize the currency management system and promote digital transactions. According to the central bank, the pilot project will help in improving the efficiency of coin distribution, reducing the cost of coin handling, and enhancing customer convenience. The CVMs will also reduce the need for physical cash transactions and the associated security risks.
The use of CVMs is not new in India. Many banks, including State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank, have already installed such machines in their branches and ATMs. However, the RBI’s pilot project is the first-of-its-kind initiative by the central bank to promote the use of CVMs on a large scale.
The CVMs will accept coins of denominations of Rs 1, 2, 5, and 10, and will dispense a voucher or a credit of an equivalent amount, after deducting a small processing fee. The voucher or the credit can be used for various transactions, including bill payments, mobile recharges, and online shopping.
The RBI has also introduced new guidelines for the use of CVMs, including mandatory compliance with the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. The guidelines also require the CVM operators to maintain adequate records of the transactions and to report any suspicious activities to the authorities.
The RBI has invited feedback and suggestions from the public and stakeholders on the pilot project, which will help in improving the functioning and effectiveness of the CVMs. The central bank has also urged the public to use the CVMs for depositing coins and to adopt digital transactions for making payments and transfers.