Payment networks such as MasterCard and Visa have joined hands with NPCI to launch BharatQR, a common Quick Response (QR) code that would enable seamless digital payments without card swiping machines.
This is billed as the next big digital payment solution after the recent initial success of Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), a mobile-based App launched in end December 2016 to promote digital payments.
Built under the direction of the Reserve Bank of India in September last year, BharatQR is a revolutionary step as it provides an interoperable solution, a media report said.
Merchants will be identified by one QR code whether the payment is through MasterCard, Visa or RuPay and would result in deepening of acceptance infrastructure in the country.
This BharatQR code is expected to be convenient for those who are into mobile banking and do not want to use debit or credit cards for small ticket payments.
BharatQR code is seen as a better alternative to physical Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines which involves capital costs.
Launching the BharatQR code, R Gandhi, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India said: "This is a momentous occasion for the Payments industry in India with the launch of this first global first of kind low cost interoperable mobile based acceptance solution".
NPCI, Mastercard and Visa have developed BharatQR with provision for three additional fields--(1) Bank account and IFSC code (2) Unified Payments Interface and (3) Aadhaar. These additional field provide banks the option to populate them as QR-based payments scale in the country. American Express is also on board to adopt these standards.
Gandhi said that innovative interoperable solutions, like BharatQR, that are easy to scale, provide a seamless customer experience and above all are safe and secure, are essential to accelerating India's transition to a less-cash society.
"I am glad India is setting yet another standard in the payment arena for others to adopt," Gandhi added.
Already, a number of leading banks are operationally ready to deploy BharatQR. These include Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, City Union Bank, Development Credit Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, RBL Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Vijaya Bank and YES Bank.