The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed to come out with a mobile application to aid visually impaired persons in identifying Indian currency notes. 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 Government of India.
Intaglio printing based identification marks for helping the visually challenged in the identification of denomination of banknotes are present in notes of Rs 100 and above. The RBI has solicited bids from technology firms for developing the mobile application.
“The application should be able to identify the denomination of legal tender banknotes of Mahatma Gandhi Series and Mahatma Gandhi (New) series by capturing the image of the notes placed in front of the mobile camera or scrolled across it,” said the request for proposal issued by the central bank. Also, the mobile application should be searchable via voice option in all app stores, it said.
“The mobile application should be able to identify the banknote denomination in 2 seconds or less,” the RBI said and added that the app should also work in offline mode without an internet connection. Further, the mobile application shall provide multi-lingual support as well as audio notifications. The application is expected to support Hindi and English language as a minimum, it said.
Cash constitutes the most important means of transaction in the country. As on March 31, 2018, there were about 102 billion pieces of banknotes in circulation having a value of Rs 18 lakh crore. 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.