Andhra Pradesh power discoms adopt BharatQR for payments
New Delhi: The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday said its power distribution companies have started accepting payments through BharatQR.
The Eastern Power Distribution Company of AP Ltd (EPDCL) and the Southern Power Distribution Corporation of AP Ltd (SPDCL) are India’s first state-owned discoms to accept payments through Bharat QR, a government statement said.
Bharat QR is a common quick response (QR) code jointly developed by major card payment companies—National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI) that runs RuPay cards, MasterCard and Visa—under instructions from the Reserve Bank of India.
To pay power bills via Bharat QR, customers must log in to their bank’s app and scan the QR code on their electricity bill for instant payment. Alternatively, they may enter their unique customer IDs online and generate a QR code that can be scanned using their bank’s app.
“Andhra Pradesh power distribution companies are setting an impressive example for discoms across India to adopt similar systems. Further, in keeping with the promotion of digital payments, we are exploring the possibility of abolishing surcharge levied to consumers on digital payments. Digitization of transactions will ultimately lead to a reduction of costs for all stakeholders involved,”said Nara Lokesh, state IT and rural development minister said in the statement.
Payments company Visa and the state government have identified electricity bill payments as an important use case for payment digitisation. Given their wide reach, recurring nature of transactions and low ticket sizes, such payments are expected to drive shift in consumer behaviour towards digital payments; in particular, among first-time users, added the statement.
“A low-cost acceptance solution, BharatQR has the potential to drive payment digitization at scale, and be a convenient way to pay and get paid for both consumers and merchants alike. Further, digitization of such citizen to government payments at scale, would significantly help reduce India’s net cost of cash estimated to be 1.7% of its GDP, while accelerating the country’s economic growth,”said T.R. Ramachandran, group country manager, Visa, India and South Asia.
BharatQR was launched on 20 February and with the less-cash push from the government post demonetization, it has managed to carve a niche for itself in the cashless payments domain.