With IndiaQR Launch, Retail Payments to Get Digital Edge
Mumbai: IndiaQR, a product promoted by the Narendra Modi government to drive retail payments to digital modes, is expected to go live on Monday. IndiaQR is a common QR code jointly developed by all the four major card payment companies National Payments Corporation of India that runs RuPay cards along with MasterCard, Visa and American Express, under instruction from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It allows any customer who has a debit card to make retail payments using their smartphones.
This is supposed to be one of the key components of the multi-pronged approach of the government to boost digital payments at retail merchant points across the country, where cash remains the major means of exchange.
“This is the first time that all major payment companies are coming together to form a single QR code with data fields which can identify all the four major card schemes’ data fields,” a person familiar with the development said. RBI will launch IndiaQR on February 20, and 5-8 banks will go live in the first phase, people close to the development said.
It will work on banks’ mobile apps. A customer on purchasing something just needs to open their bank’s mobile banking app on their smartphones and scan the merchant’s QR code. Then they can put in the amount and process the payment.
To make this work, banks will have to integrate debit card details of customers into the mobile application and also onboard maximum number of merchants to accept such payments so that the scheme is successful.
Industry insiders said IndiaQR has the potential to solve the problem of a point of sales (PoS) terminal, which is not only expensive but also in most cases does not make sense to be installed at small merchant outlets because there are not as many transactions.
“IndiaQR will be asset light and since it will only need a print out of the code will require no maintenance, ideal for small merchants,” said the person quoted earlier. “Merchant payment rates will be applicable as in the case of PoS terminals.”