Indian banks and payment network companies — Visa, MasterCard and RuPay — have said that one million small shops will be onboarded for accepting digital payments using BharatQR code in a year. So next time you walk into a kirana store in a small town without electricity or landline phones, chances are that you will spot a BharatQR code placard which can be scanned for payment using your bank’s mobile application.
BharatQR can be used for making payments by storing debit or credit card details within a mobile app. Soon the code will also enable payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Aadhaar-enabled payments.
For shopkeepers, the savings will be in the cost of buying or renting/maintaining a card swipe machine. However, there will be a cost which is at present similar to charges paid on debit and credit cards. Even UPI, which is vaunted as a low-cost payment option, attracts the same transaction fee when used by a merchant. There is a proposal to have lower charges for BharatQR and merchant UPI transactions.
This is the second digital payment offering by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) after demonetisation. Earlier, NPCI had launched the BHIM application to facilitate instant account-to-account transfers using the UPI platform.
NPCI MD and CEO AP Hota acknowledged that there has been a drop in digital transactions as currency supply has improved. “We were seeing three lakh RuPay card transactions per day before demonetisation. This went up to 20 lakh during demonetisati ..
“Since cards began to be used in the country in early 1980s, the industry has set up about 1.5 million Point of Sale (PoS) terminals. However, in comparison to the 800 million cards that have been issued as of now, the number of PoS terminals in the country has not been really adequate,” said R Gandhi, deputy governor RBI. He added that BharatQR is easy to scale and above all is safe and secure, essential to accelerating India’s transition to a less-cash society.