Government launches Bharat QR code to push less-cash economy

To promote digital economy in the country, Government of India has launched a new payment method using QR codes. BharatQR code, the world’s first interoperable payment acceptance solution, was launched today 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. Bharat QR code aims at standardising the QR code payment method through the country. For this, payment networks like MasterCard, American Express, National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and Visa have collaborated to promote wider acceptance of the Bharat QR payment method.The prevailing method of payment necessitates a consumer to swipe a debit or a credit card and enter its PIN code to authenticate the payment. However, after the introduction of Bharat QR code, a consumer can simply open his or her banking app or BHIM app, scan the merchant’s QR code, enter the payable amount and enter the four digit code to authenticate the transaction.

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. 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. Bharat QR code will eliminate all such roadblocks as it is directly linked to the bank. The payments will go straight to the merchant’s bank account through IMPS. Also, there is no limit to the amount of money the merchant can put in the bank. The initiative will also support payments through UPI Payment Address and AAdhaar Number soon.

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