QR-based Coin Vending Machines Announced by RBI – How Will It Work?

A look at the QR-based Coin Vending Machine launched by RBI

QR-based Coin Vending Machine

In RBI’s recent Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the RBI governor Shaktikanta Das announced a plan for setting up QR code-based coin vending machines (QCVM) in 12 cities across India. Coin vending machines will dispense coins instead of currency notes and will facilitate easy access and distribution of coins. 

How QCVM will work?

In a statement, Mr Das said that the machines will dispense coins by debiting the customer’s bank account using Unified Payments Interface (UPI). RBI has developed the QR code-based coin vending machine as a cashless coin dispenser. Unlike cash-based coin vending machines the QCVM functions without the need for actual tendering of banknotes or the validation of the same. Customers can withdraw coins as per their required number and denomination, using the QCVMs.

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The pilot project

The QCVM pilot project will be launched in 19 locations across 12 cities in India. To make it convenient and accessible for customers, the QCVMs will be deployed in public places like railway stations, markets and shopping malls. The machines are designed while keeping their deployment in mind.

The results of the pilot tests will be used for promoting the distribution of coins through QCVMs. Observations will be made on the QCVM process and response from the 12-city pilot project. Based on these observations, guidelines will be prepared and distributed to banks for the distribution of coins through these vending machines. 

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Coin distribution now

Presently, a person is required to visit his or her bank branch to request coins. Coins are also distributed at the regional offices of the RBI. If you want Rs 5,000 worth of Rs 10 coins, you must deposit the Rs 5,000 with the bank. 

QCVM changes this interface to UPI. UPI being linked with the customer’s bank account, tending currency notes at the machine or a bank branch will no longer be necessary. For the bank, QCVM will become an additional task, as they will need to refill the QCVMs with coins regularly just like they do with ATMs. This will add operational costs too.

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Presently, coins of Rs 1 to Rs 20 are in circulation. Coins are in high demand in roadside shops selling items of small value, grocery shops, vegetable vendors, auto-rickshaw drivers and other public transport operators etc. Once QCVMs run in full flow, you will probably receive Rs 1 and Rs 2 in coins, instead of candies and chewing gums.


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