Russian bank under sanctions tests in-app transactions using virtual rubles.

September 3, 2022

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The Bank of Russia, one of the country’s largest assets, has successfully experimented with digital ruble transactions processed through its mobile app. State-owned Promsvyazbank was one of the companies that came under Western sanctions earlier this year due to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. Promsvyazbank (PSB) was one of the first Russian lenders to join the trial of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) issued by the Bank of Russia. The bank recently tested digital ruble transactions through its app for mobile devices, reports business news publication Plus Journal. To make transactions, participants must register with the program and set up a digital wallet.

Then, using their account, they could transfer regular electronic bank money to digital rubles and transfer digital money to other bank customers and other banks participating in the pilot program. The report details all transactions made by the Digital Ruble platform operated by the Central Bank of Russia (CB), and instantly displays the balance of users’ digital wallets in a smartphone application. A prototype of this platform was launched by the monetary authority at the end of last year. PSB was one of the first banks to implement and successfully test a simple and understandable technology for transactions with digital rubles in a mobile application. No less than a dozen credit institutions have decided to join the digital ruble trial as part of the trials that will begin in early 2022 when the CBDC is ready to connect to the platform.

Last summer, Russia accelerated the program. This project plans to fully introduce its digital currency by 2024. Promsvyazbank is one of the ten largest banks in Russia in terms of assets and deposits. The private bank, once owned by Russian oligarch brothers Dmitry and Oleksiy Ananyev, was nationalized by the Russian government in 2018 and later designated as a bank that supports Russia’s defense sector. This country received sanctions due to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

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