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Russia’s MegaFon And Beeline Push For Digital Ruble Smartphone Wallets

Russia Commerce
Russia Commerce

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MegaFon and Beeline stand as two of the major mobile network providers within Russia. The two companies are now in consideration of how the function of the Digital Rubel will serve on their respective mobile devices.

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Izvestia stands as a local news agency, and gave out a report about the matter at large. The outlet claimed that both MegaFon and Beeline have both proposed to set up smartphone wallets for the Russian version of the Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC.

These two companies didn’t stop there, however, urging for additional services, such as the linking between a customer’s phone number and a digital wallet. Users will then be capable of storing Digital Rubles directly by way of their smartphones, and would allow them to pay and transfer this CBDC by way of smart devices. This all comes by way of a MegaFon spokesperson.

A Long Time Coming

Izvestia stated that both of these companies are already actively involved in discussions about the Digital Ruble with the central bank of Russia. The representatives of the company explained that their main interests within the Digital Ruble revolve around maintaining wallets within smart devices.

They warned that the current version of the concept doesn’t allow for this. Another key focus they have is on the idea of peer-to-peer payment transactions without financial intermediaries taking part. This, in turn, includes possible support for offline payments.

Russia’s central bank had its First Deputy Governor, Olga Skorobogatova, claim back in 2020 that the Digital Ruble is planned to be made available through a platform developed by the Bank of Russia.

Central Banks None Too Pleased

The first consultation paper on the development of this Digital Ruble was released by the Bank of Russia back in October of 2020. Within this statement, the bank had revealed that its users would be capable of accessing the digital ruble within their mobile devices and e-wallets, promising that this access will be available both online and offline.

As one would imagine, Russia’s biggest banks have made an argument against mobile phones (or even smartwatches) being used to store digital rubles. While they say it’s convenient, the more efficient and safer option is to make use of credit institutions for settlements.

It should be noted that convenience is king for the common man, and the moment they get the option to do it in a more convenient way, they’ll do it that way. It’s human nature, and thus the matter of whether or not CBDC wallets will come to smartphones is more of an eventuality than a possibility.

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