What Is QR Code?
Since demonetization of old currency notes the Government of India has been making a big push for digital payments. To encourage cashless transactions and to promote Digital India initiative, the Government of India has launched Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for smartphones and for basic and feature phones it has introduced Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). The Government has also introduced BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) app which is a unified UPI app. Another introduction by the Government is the Aadhaar Pay that enables the people to make cashless money transactions using Aadhaar Card and their fingerprint for biometric authentication. To make the payments process easier the Government of India has now launched the Bharat QR Code payments transfer mechanism for cashless electronics payments. Over the past few years a lot of people have moved on to the cashless payment methods using debit and credit cards. However, this method of cashless electronic payment transaction has strings attached in terms of cost of owning and running the card swipe machines and transaction fees. The Government of India has taken another step to encourage digital payments and has simplified things for merchants and for the customers by launching the Bharat QR Code. Bharat QR Code will make use of QR codes system for payments across merchant outlets. QR code or Quick Response code is a two-dimensional machine-readable code that is made up of black and white squares. It is used to store URLs and other information. These can be read by the camera of a smartphone. According to RBI, the Bharat QR Code is the world’s first inter-operable payment acceptance solution. Bharat QR code aims at standardizing the QR code payment method through the country. Payment networks such as MasterCard, American Express and Visa have collaborated with National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch and promote the Bharat QR payment method. However, different merchant outlets across the country uses different QR codes. The Bharat QR is a more streamlined system which will reduce the technological problems and people will not suffer from card loss or card expiry problems. It is the easiest method of payment for users. Scanning the QR code through your mobile will help in transferring money from one source to another. Payments made through QR code will directly get transferred to the bank accounts unlike other digital wallet where payments are received from e-mails. Even though various banks and private companies already have this facility in their mobile app, what makes the QR code different from others is that it is interoperable with all the banks and it is not a closed-loop system. This Bharat QR code is expected to be convenient for those who are into mobile banking and who don’t want to use debit or credit cards for small payments. The physical Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines involves capital costs and therefore Bharat QR code is seen as a better alternative.