Money & Banking

Payment operators must shift to interoperable QR code by March 2022: RBI

Our Bureau. Mumbai | Updated on October 22, 2020 Published on October 22, 2020

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on Thursday, said the Payment System Operators (PSOs) that use proprietary Quick Response (QR) codes have to shift to one or more interoperable QR codes by March 31, 2022.

The two interoperable QR codes in existence – UPI QR and Bharat QR – will continue as it is at present, it added.

No new proprietary QR codes shall henceforth be launched by any PSO for any payment transaction, the central bank said in a notification to all Authorised PSOs (banks and non-banks).

The payment system operators ecosystem includes Cards Payment Networks; ATM Networks; entities issuing Pre-paid Payment Instruments; White Label ATM Operators; and Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units; among others.

“QR Code is a type of a two-dimensional bar code. It consists of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background. Imaging devices such as smartphone cameras can be used to read and interpret these codes.

“...One can simply scan a QR code to pay utility bills, fuel, grocery, food, travel, and several other categories,” according to the Report of the Committee on the Analysis of QR Code.The RBI Committee was headed by DB Pathak, Professor Emeritus, IIT Bombay.

The RBI said it will continue a consultative process to standardise and improve interoperable QR codesto enable beneficial features identified by the Phatak Committee.

PSOs may take initiative to increase awareness about interoperable QR codes, the central bank added.

According to the central bank, the above measures, which have been taken after examining the recommendations of the Pathak Committee and the feedback received, are expected to reinforce the acceptance infrastructure, provide better user convenience due to interoperability, and enhance system efficiency.

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Published on October 22, 2020
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