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BharatQR Code Launched to Push Less-cash Economy

BharatQR code, the world's first interoperable payment acceptance solution, was launched on Monday as part of efforts to move towards less-cash economy at an "insignificant cost", according to industry members.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:February 20, 2017, 7:50 PM IST
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BharatQR Code Launched to Push Less-cash Economy
A QR code is seen on a piece of paper. (Image for representation only. Photo: Reuters)

New Delhi: BharatQR code, the world's first interoperable payment acceptance solution, was launched on Monday as part of efforts to move towards less-cash economy at an "insignificant cost", according to industry members.

Over the past few months, the government has been aggressively pushing for higher usage of digital payment mechanisms, including launching BHIM app and increasing penetration of PoS machines.

Developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Mastercard, and Visa, BharatQR code would require merchants to only display one QR code instead of multiple ones.

Devised on the direction set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September last year, it will make payments seamless for buyers as they just have to "scan to pay" for transactions instead of swiping their credit/debit cards.

NPCI Managing Director and CEO AP Hota said RuPay has emerged as one of the most successful "home grown card networks in the world" and BharatQR code initiative is yet another "transformational step towards building a less-cash economy at an insignificant cost."

QR code or Quick Response code is a two-dimensional machine-readable code made up of black and white squares and are used for storing URLs or other information. These can be read by the camera of a smartphone.

Mastercard Country Corporate Officer (India) and Division President (South Asia) Porush Singh said the company has developed 'Masterpass QR', which was developed and created at its technology centre in Vadodara.

"It is completely 'Made in India'... We look forward to leveraging our technology backbone and partnering with the government and the industry to create a robust, safe and secure digital payments ecosystem," he added.

A number of leading banks are already operationally ready to deploy BharatQR, including 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 and Yes Bank.

Many other banks are at various stages of implementation. Mobile wallet companies like Paytm have already been working with QR codes for some time.

The Alibaba-backed firm has said it plans to invest Rs 600 crore in the next 10 months to further enhance its QR code-based payments solution.

MobiKwik Chief Business Officer Vineet Singh said the BharatQR initiative will help in further advancing the digital payments ecosystem in India.

"With one code access, India will achieve its target of being a digital economy sooner... Going forward, we are confident that the government will consider including wallets in Bharat QR," he added.

BHIM App: All You Need to Know About the New Application for Digital Payments

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