What Is Bharat 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 the 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), a unified UPI app. Another introduction by the Government is Aadhaar Pay which enables people to make cashless money transactions using Aadhaar cards and their fingerprints 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 cashless payment methods using debit and credit cards. However, this method of cashless electronic payment transaction has strings attached in terms of the 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 customers by launching the Bharat QR Code.
Bharat QR Code will make use of the QR code 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 worlds first interoperable payment acceptance solution. Bharat QR code aims at standardizing the QR code payment method throughout the country. Payment networks such as MasterCard, American Express, and Visa have collaborated with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch and promote the Bharat QR payment method. However, different merchant outlets across the country use different QR codes.
The Bharat QR is a more streamlined system that will reduce 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 a 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, the QR code is different from others because it is interoperable with all the banks and is not a closed-loop system. This Bharat QR code is expected to be convenient for those who are into mobile banking and who dont want to use debit or credit cards for small payments. The physical Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines involve capital costs and therefore Bharat QR code is seen as a better alternative.
Current QR Code-based payments
The QR code-based payments are accepted by most of the merchants across India but they are largely closed systems. Visa is a developer of QR Code payments and has already launched mVisa in India about a year and a half ago. MVisa is a widely accepted payment option across the globe. About a year ago, DTH operator TataSky partnered with Visa to accept QR code-based payments from its subscribers. Since demonetization, e-wallet apps such as Paytm, Freecharge, and Mobikwik have seen a surge in usage.
While these wallet apps allow QR code-based payments, both parties also need to have the app. For instance, if you are transferring money using Paytm, the receiver needs to have the Paytm app installed and an account on their smartphone.
How To Generate Bharat QR Code
If you are a retailer or shopkeeper, you can easily generate a Bharat QR code and start accepting payments using the following steps:
- First, make sure that you have a bank account.
- Link your bank account with BHIM App.
- Generate your unique Bharat QR Code from BHIM App.
- Print the QR code and stick it to the wall of the payment counter.
- Thats it. Customers can easily pay money by scanning your QR code.
How to make payment using Bharat QR Code
Currently, Bharat QR is integrated into ICICI Banks Pockets app and HDFC Banks PayZapp with more banks expected to update their apps with support for the same. For making a payment, you will need your bank app or BHIM app installed on your phone. At the store the merchant, you have to open the app and tap on Scan QR Code or Scan & Pay (the options may differ from bank to bank) and scan the Bharat QR Code.
Once the code is scanned, the amount that has to be paid needs to be entered along with a remark and a four-digit passcode. As soon as the authentication gets completed, the money will get transferred to the merchants bank account.
Benefits of Bharat QR Code
Bharat QR Code will allow all the merchants to receive digital payments without the use of a Point-of-Sale (POS) swiping machine. It will allow the customers of any bank to use their smartphone app to make payments using their debit card. The benefit for the merchants would be that they dont have to invest in buying the PoS machine which would also mean that the merchants will be able to do away with the transaction fees charged by the banks for using the PoS terminal.
All that they have to do is, they will have to generate the Bharat QR Code and take a printout of it and stick it at their payment desk. The payment will take place via IMPS (Immediate Payment Services) and the money will get credited into their bank account instantly. Also that the merchants will not face problems with limits on the amount of money that they can accept every month through Bharat QR Code, unlike Paytm, Freecharge, and Mobikwik. The hassle of transferring money from wallet to bank account will be eliminated as well further making it easier to accept digital money.
The Bharat QR Code also comes with security benefits. At present, when we swipe our debit or credit card, there are negligible possibilities that someone can capture our crucial details such as card number, expiry date, or CVV. While the OTP option is permitted for two-step verification before the transaction gets authenticated, the risk of exposing the card details remains. In the case of the Bharat QR Code, the transaction is completed with boosted security and the card details remain under the control of the customer which is a great advantage.
8 Facts about Bharat QR Code
Following are a few interesting facts about the Bharat QR Code payment system which every debit or credit card holder should know.
1) Open Payment Interface
There are quite many QR-code-based payment interfaces available right now. The most prominent one is Visas mVisa and MasterPass QR code by Mastercard. But there is an issue with these existing QR code-based payment gateways and it is their closed system. It implies that mVisa will only work with Visa cardholders and MasterPass will only work with MasterCard holders. But with Bharat QR Code all users can smoothly make and accept payments.
2) Integration Of UPI
UPI-based payments are also supported by Bharat QR Code. Therefore, the BHIM app can be used effectively for making payments. It would be interoperable with various accounts since the BHIM app can include bank account details of various banks.
3) Banks offering Bharat QR Code
14 banks are a part of the Bharat QR Code platform as of now. The 14 banks are State Bank of India, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Citi Union Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank, Union Bank of India, RBL Bank, Development Credit Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, and Vijaya Bank. Soon, more banks are expected to join the forum.
4) Process of making payment using Bharat QR Code
The static form of making the payment is as given. Say, you are a customer of HDFC Bank whose official payment app is PayZapp. You will have to open PayZapp and scan the Bharat QR Code from within the app and you will have to enter the amount to be paid. Then you will receive an authorization request from the bank. Once your identity is verified you will receive a PIN from the bank which needs to be entered to complete the process of payment. Hence, the official app of the bank you have an account with has to be installed for using Bharat QR Code-based payments.
5) Dynamism in making Payments
Dynamic Payment mode is another form of payment. Under this method, for every new transaction, the merchant will generate a new QR Code every time. The customer, here, will not have to feed in the amount but will simply have to scan the QR Code and enter the authorization code for the completion of the process of payment.
6) Lower transaction cost of Bharat QR
The requirement of PoS machines for swiping cards has gone away with the introduction of the Bharat QR Code. This makes it cheaper, more secure, and less time-consuming. For both the customer and the merchant, the total costs involved go down as no transaction cost is involved in going cashless via Bharat QR Code.
7) Massive Teamwork
Its for the first time that all major payment gateways operating in India such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and NPCI have come together to develop a common payment processing platform. Therefore it will not matter whether you are paying via a Visa-enabled debit card or the merchant is accepting via a Mastercard-enabled bank account. The QR code shall be the common gateway for receiving and making payments from any bank and by using any payment gateway.
8) Secure Payment
Payment with the Bharat QR code is more secure because the customer is not sharing any details with the merchant. There is a certain amount of risk with PoS terminals as card details can be copied using skimming technology. This risk is eliminated in the case of Bharat QR as all you need to do is scan and pay.
Bharat QR Code is one of the biggest achievements of the Government of India in promoting and encouraging cashless payments in the economy. The further success of this scheme will also depend upon the awareness among the people about the usage of the Bharat QR Code.
It will be important to see how wallet companies like PayTM deal with this. If Bharat QR manages to offer lower transaction rates to merchants, life will be difficult for POS machine providers and wallet companies.
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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What is Bharat QR Code?
Bharat QR Code is a standardized quick response (QR) code system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It is a form of a two-dimensional barcode that allows merchants to accept digital payments from customers using their smartphones. The code contains information such as the merchant’s details and payment instructions.
How does Bharat QR Code work?
To make a payment using Bharat QR Code, a customer scans the QR code displayed at the merchant’s point of sale (POS) using a compatible QR code scanning app on their smartphone. The app then fetches the payment details and initiates the payment process through the customer’s linked bank account or mobile wallet. The transaction is completed securely and in real time.
Which payment methods are supported by Bharat QR Code?
Bharat QR Code supports various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, and mobile wallets. Customers can link their bank accounts or mobile wallets to the QR code scanning app and choose their preferred payment method while making a transaction.
Is Bharat QR Code secure?
Yes, Bharat QR Code is designed to ensure secure transactions. It utilizes the security features provided by the underlying payment methods, such as encryption and authentication protocols. Additionally, the NPCI has implemented measures to protect against fraud and unauthorized access. However, as with any digital payment method, users should also take necessary precautions, such as using trusted apps and keeping their devices secure.
Can Bharat QR codes be used for both online and offline transactions?
Yes, Bharat QR Code can be used for both online and offline transactions. For online transactions, customers can scan the QR code displayed on a website or in a mobile app to make a payment. In the case of offline transactions, the QR code is typically displayed at the merchant’s physical point of sale, allowing customers to make payments without the need for physical cash or cards.