The next time you walk into a kirana store in a small town without electricity or landline phones, chances are that you will spot a BharatQR code placard which can be scanned for payment using your bank's mobile application. Indian banks and payment network companies: Visa, MasterCard and RuPay - have said that one million small shops will be onboarded for accepting digital payments using BharatQR code in a year.
BharatQR can be used for making payments by storing debit or credit card details within a mobile app. Soon the code will also enable payments using the Unified Payments Interface and Aadhaar-enabled payments.
For shopkeepers, the savings will be in the cost of buying or renting maintaining a card swipe machine. However, there will be a cost which is at present similar to charges paid on debit and credit cards. Even the Unified Payment Interface, which is vaunted as a low-cost payment option, attracts the same transaction fee when used by a merchant. There is a proposal to have lower charges for BharatQR and merchant UPI transactions.
This is the second digital payment offering by the National Payment Corporation of India after demonetisation.