RBI to come out with mobile app to help visually challenged identify currency notes; invites bids from tech firms to develop app

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

Press Trust of India July 15, 2019 11:54:28 IST
RBI to come out with mobile app to help visually challenged identify currency notes; invites bids from tech firms to develop app
  • Intaglio printing-based identification marks for helping the visually challenged is present in the notes of Rs 100 and above

  • The proposed mobile app would be able to identify denomination of notes of Mahatma Gandhi Series and Mahatma Gandhi (New) series

  • There are about 80 lakh blind or visually impaired people in the country

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) 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 Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2,000 are in circulation, besides Re 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.

RBI to come out with mobile app to help visually challenged identify currency notes invites bids from tech firms to develop app

Representational image. Reuters

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

After demonetisation of old Rs 500 and 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 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 cancelled it.

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 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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