Home >Industry >Banking >Reserve Bank bars payment system operators from launching new QR codes
The two interoperable QR codes in existence – UPI QR and Bharat QR – shall continue (Mint)
The two interoperable QR codes in existence – UPI QR and Bharat QR – shall continue (Mint)

Reserve Bank bars payment system operators from launching new QR codes

  • A committee led by Professor Deepak Phatak suggested various measures for moving towards interoperable QR Codes in the next two years
  • The two interoperable QR codes in existence – UPI QR and Bharat QR – shall continue, the committee advised

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday said the payment operators must shift to interoperable Quick Response (QR) codes by March 2022. "Payment System Operators (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," the regulator mentioned.

A committee led by Professor Deepak Phatak suggested various measures for moving towards interoperable QR Codes in the next two years. The two interoperable QR codes in existence – UPI QR and Bharat QR – shall continue, the committee advised.

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

The central bank shall continue a consultative process to standardise and improve interoperable QR codes to enable beneficial features identified by the Phatak Committee, the official statement read.

Payment System Operators must take initiative to increase awareness about interoperable QR codes. The measures suggested by the Phatak Committee are expected to reinforce the acceptance infrastructure, provide better user convenience due to interoperability and enhance system efficiency, the bank said.

RBI also sets the necessary regulatory framework to ensure that different types of payment systems operate in the country. The regulator encouraged the establishment of a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) for Payment Systems Operators.

An SRO is a non-governmental organisation that sets and enforces rules and standards relating to the conduct of member entities in the industry, with the aim of protecting the customer and promoting ethical and professional standards.

"The SRO is expected to resolve disputes among its members internally through mutually accepted processes to ensure that members operate in a disciplined environment and even accept penal actions by the SRO," the bank said.

"Regulations, standards, dispute resolution and enforcement by an SRO get legitimacy not just by mutual agreement of its members, but also by the efficiency with which self-regulation is perceived to be administered. Such regulations supplement, but do not replace, applicable laws or regulations," RBI added.

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