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RBI to come out with mobile app for currency notes identification

The Reserve Bank of India will come out with a mobile application to help visually challenged people in identifying currency notes as cash still remains a dominant mode of transaction.

At present, banknotes in the denominations of ₹10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2,000 are in circulation, besides ₹1 notes issued by the Centre.

The RBI said that identification of banknote denomination is key to the successful completion of cash-based transactions by visually impaired persons.

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Intaglio printing based identification marks for helping the visually challenged in the identification of banknotes denomination are present in the notes of Rs 100 and above.

After demonetisation of old ₹500/1,000 notes in November 2016, new banknotes in design and sizes have been put in circulation.

“The Reserve Bank of India has been sensitive to the challenges faced by the visually challenged in conducting their day to day business with Indian banknotes,” said the central bank while scouting for a vendor to develop the mobile application.

The proposed mobile app would be able to identify the denomination of notes of Mahatma Gandhi Series and Mahatma Gandhi (New) series by capturing the image of the notes placed in front of the mobile camera, the RBI said while inviting bids from tech firms to develop the app.

The RBI had come out with a similar request for proposal from vendors but later canceled it.

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The app will also generate “audio notification” intimating the currency note denomination to the user if the image is captured correctly, else intimating the user to try again in case of the image is not readable.

There are about 80 lakh blind or visually impaired people in the country, who are likely to benefit from the initiative of the central bank.

In June 2018 the central bank had declared that it would explore the feasibility of developing a suitable device or mechanism for aiding the visually impaired in the identification of Indian banknotes.

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