RBI bars payment system operators from launching new QR codes


PTI, Oct 23, 2020, 1:26 PM IST

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank on Thursday barred Payment System Operators (PSOs) from launching any new proprietary QR code for payment transactions.

Currently, there are two interoperable QR codes — UPI QR and Bharat QR. QR codes are two-dimensional machine-readable barcodes, which are increasingly used to facilitate mobile payments at the point-of-sale. QR codes can store a large amount of information.

The decision to continue with the two existing Quick Response (QR) codes was based on the recommendations of the committee which was set up by the Reserve Bank under the chairmanship of Deepak Phatak to review the current system of such codes in India and suggest measures for moving towards interoperable QR codes.

UPI QR and Bharat QR shall continue as at present, the central bank said in a notification.

“PSOs that use proprietary QR codes shall shift to one or more interoperable QR codes; the process of migration shall be completed by March 31, 2022,” it added.

Further, the RBI said that no new proprietary QR codes shall henceforth be launched by any PSO for any payment transaction.

The central bank will continue a consultative process to standardise and improve interoperable QR codes, to enable beneficial features identified by the Phatak Committee and PSOs may take initiative to increase awareness about interoperable QR codes, as per the notification.

These decisions, the RBI said, are expected to reinforce the acceptance infrastructure, provide better user convenience due to interoperability and enhance system efficiency.

Japanese company, Denso Wave, invented the QR code in the 1990s.

In India, QR Code Payment Systems broadly support three different types of QR code payments — Bharat QR, UPI QR, and Proprietary QR.

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