Iran to open the Digital Rial CBDC pilot program to the public this month

The public roll out of the Digital Rial pilot program will start in Kish Island.
The public rollout of the CBDC’s pilot program aims to test efficiency in transactions, enhancing payment security.
Success in the pilot program could lead to the expansion of the Digital Rial nationwide, transforming Iranian payments.

Iran’s ambitious project to introduce the Digital Rial, a central bank digital currency (CBDC), is set to enter a pivotal phase after the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced it would be opening the pilot program to the public.

The central bank’s move comes after successful testing phases between 2021 and 2023 (between 1400 and 1401 according the Solar Hijri calendar) and successful pre-trials and limited trials between 2023-2024 (between 1402 and 1403 according the Solar Hijri calendar).

Opening of the Digital Rial pilot program to the public

Starting on June 21, the first day of the Solar Hijri calendar month of Tir, the Digital Rial is poised to commence its pilot program on Kish Island. This will mark a significant milestone as the pilot phase transitions from controlled trials to a more expansive public phase, allowing customers of the banking network and tourists in the designated geographical area to utilize Digital Rial for transactions.

The pilot program aims to demonstrate the practicality and efficiency of Digital Rial in real-world scenarios, offering a seamless alternative to traditional banking transactions and payment methods.

Users will have the convenience of conducting transactions through digital wallets without the need for physical cash or traditional bank cards. Transactions are expected to be expedited, enhancing overall payment security and operational transparency.

Moreover, the Digital Rial, which according to reports the central bank started considering in 2018, is poised to bolster Iran’s digital economy by fostering innovative payment solutions tailored to domestic needs. It aligns with broader national objectives of enhancing financial infrastructure resilience and promoting the adoption of digital technologies across various economic sectors.

Once the pilot program ends, the CBI will evaluate the outcomes of the pilot program and successful results may pave the way for expanding Digital Rial’s accessibility beyond Kish Island, potentially transforming how Iranians conduct everyday transactions in the digital age.


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