Cold drinks, candy & now 'change': India to test coin vending machines that use UPI

Cold drinks, candy & now 'change': India to test coin vending machines that use UPI
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  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said that it will soon start a pilot project to enable easier access to coins.
  • The RBI is looking at coin dispensing vending machines that work with UPI.
While it’s quite easy to withdraw money in India, coins and ‘change’ remain challenging. On Wednesday, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das said they intend to make it easy.

Das said that RBI would soon start a pilot project to test QR Code-based coin vending machines (QCVM) in the country. Instead of inputting a currency note, users can use UPI to get coins.

The coin vending machines will be tested in 12 cities across the country as part of the project. Based on the learnings of the pilot, the central bank will issue guidelines to banks to promote the distribution of coins using these machines.

Coin vending machines are not a new concept in India. While there are many such machines, they require consumers to input a cash note. Soiled notes and the lack of exact denominations required by the vending machine have become another challenge for users.

While many new-age food vending machines across the country allow UPI to access various products, a coin vending machine would be a new addition.


As this turns into a reality, cold drinks, and candies won’t be the only things one can get from vending machines. These machines will make it easier for people to access coins without having to wait in line at the banks – which is the only official way to bring change.

The central bank has embarked on many digital pilot projects in the last few months. The most prominent of them is that of eRupee, India’s digital currency. The pilot is currently limited to SBI, ICICI Bank, IDFC First Bank, and Yes Bank.

The digital payment method complementing UPI will make it easier for customers to send money to vendors and lower transaction costs. These rupees can also be exchanged for physical money, and eRupees will be in the same denominations as physical money.

The RBI also said on Wednesday that the government would soon allow inbound travelers to use UPI to make payments easier. Initially, the facility will be available to travelers from G20 countries arriving at select international airports.


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