India is gradually moving towards a cashless economy, and to assist the country make this transition the government, in collaboration with private companies, has developed new software to facilitate cashless transactions. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has developed a new online retail payments system for India in collaboration with RuPay, MasterCard and Visa, India’s three mobile payments providers. The government has collaborated with the three mobile payments providers in India to adopt a standard Quick Response (QR) code called ‘Bharat QR’. This system will allow cash to flow freely between the three systems and will remove the restrictions on the usage of cards from any of the service providers. This is the first time all the major payment gateways in India have collaborated to develop a common payments system under the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Member Banks of the Bharat QR:
Presently, 14 banks are part of the Bharat QR system:
- State Bank of India (SBI)
- Axis Bank
- Bank of Baroda
- Bank of India
- Citi Union Bank
- Development Credit Bank
- Karur Vysya Bank
- HDFC Bank
- ICICI Bank
- IDBI Bank
- RBL Bank
- Union Bank of India
- Vijaya Bank
- Yes Bank
The Quick Response (QR) code is a two-dimensional figure of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background, which is a machine-readable optical label that carries with it details of the item to which it is attached.
Advantages of QR Code:
- It eliminates the need for the merchant to produce ID or phone numbers for making payments.
- It simplifies digital transactions as customers can make payments by scanning the QR code on the product and entering the transaction amount.
- It allows transactions to be performed across all payment gateways.
- The customer will no longer need to carry multiple cards, he/she can link the respective cards to the app and select the appropriate card while performing a transaction via the app.
- The customer will not need to share his/her mobile number or any account details while performing the transaction.
- The merchant will not need to invest in any additional hardware for accepting payments through this system.
- Bharat QR also has a Dynamic payments mode in which the merchant can generate a new QR code for each transaction, thereby, allowing the customer to complete the transaction without having to enter the transaction amount. The customer will need to scan the new QR code generated by the merchant and enter the authorization code.
- The Bharat QR Code supports Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments, thereby, enabling BHIM App payments.
Scope of Use:
The Bharat QR will work almost anywhere payment is accepted for services rendered. The Bharat QR app can be used to make payments to all merchants on boarded on the Bharat QR platform, this will include railways stations, bus depots, petrol pumps, grocery stores, vegetable markets, general stores, hospitals, dispensaries etc.
Using Bharat QR Code:
- As the system has been standardised across all card networks the customer will not need to carry all his/her cards to perform a transaction. The customer will need to link his/her cards to the app and use the appropriate card while performing a transaction.
- The card or bank account will need to be linked to the app as a one-time activity.
- To make a payment the customer will need to scan the Bharat QR code using the mobile app.
- The transaction amount will be deducted from the customer’s bank account and transferred to the merchant’s bank account.
- There are two types of QR codes present on the app, the Static QR and the Dynamic QR.
- The static system requires the customer to include the transaction amount manually and allows his/her to identify the merchant as the details of the store and the transaction are transmitted to the customer’s phone. It is anticipated that small stores will use this variant of QR as it will be simpler for them.
- The Dynamic QR is generated real time, which will include the store name and amount which is pre-loaded by the merchant. This type of QR does not require the individual to enter the transaction amount manually.