February 20, 2017
India has been on the path to a cashless society after the wheels of demonetization were set in motion last November last year. The launch of BharatQR today, where all leading card networks viz. Rupay, VISA, Mastercard and American Express have collaborated, is another such strong move in this direction. This move will ease electronic transactions in shops without card swiping machines.
About 14 leading banks are already operationally ready to deploy BharatQR, including Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Citi Union Bank, DCB, Karur Vysya Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, RBL Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Vijaya Bank and YES Bank. Many other leading banks are also at various stages of implementation.
There are 688 banks issuing cards of these networks. The team expects 50–60 banks to be operationally ready in the next six months. There will be a new special merchant category (MCC) applicable from April 1, 2017. The MDR for BharatQR will be capped at 0.4% for the special merchants and small merchants (with annual turnover less than 20L). The second phase of BharatQR will be on integrating with UPI. The static QR in the UPI app will be the BharatQR.
Rajeev Rishi, Chairman, IBA and CMD, Central Bank of India stated, BharatQR is another initiative in the Digital India journey. Using smartphones, it makes payments simple and easy for customers and the merchants across the country from their debit, credit and prepaid cards using a QR code common across all banks and card networks. It does not require a POS machine. It is another step towards (the) digitalization of banking transactions.