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RBI to streamline QR code infrastructure for digital payment transactions

By Edil Corneille

October 26, 2020

  • India
  • RBI
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RBI, Reserve Bank of India, Digital, Payment, QR CodeReserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, had constituted a Committee to review the current system of Quick Response (QR) Codes in India and suggest measures for moving towards interoperable QR Codes. The report of the Committee containing various recommendations was placed on the central bank’s website for public comments and feedback.

After examining the recommendations and the feedback received, it has been decided that the two interoperable QR codes in existence, namely UPI QR and Bharat QR, shall continue as at present. Payment System Operators (PSOs) that use proprietary QR codes shall shift to one or more interoperable QR codes where the process of migration is to be completed by March 31, 2022.

It has been notified that no new proprietary QR codes shall henceforth be launched by any PSO for any payment transaction. The RBI shall continue a consultative process to standardise and improve interoperable QR codes, to enable beneficial features identified by the Phatak Committee. PSOs may take initiative to increase awareness about interoperable QR codes, as mentioned by the central bank.

The report by the Committee apprised that post the demonetisation of INR 500 and INR 1,000 banknotes by the Indian government, the acceptance infrastructure for QR codes has seen tremendous growth. As a result, QR based payments are rapidly increasing. One can simply scan a QR code to pay utility bills, fuel, grocery, food, travel, and several other categories. The acceptance infrastructure is a key element for the overall development of digital payments in India.

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