On Thursday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that Payment System Operators (PSOs) that use proprietary Quick Response (QR) codes have to shift to one or more interoperable QR codes by 31 March 2022.
The central bank in its letter to payment system operators (banks and non-banks) on Streamlining QR Code infrastructure for Digital Payment Transactions said that a constituted committee, headed by Prof Deepak Phatak, has suggested measures towards interoperable QR Codes after review of the current system.
Payment system operators include Cards Payment Networks, ATM Networks, entities issuing pre-paid payment instruments, White Label ATM Operators, etc.
The other recommendations said:
- The two interoperable QR codes in existence - UPI QR and Bharat QR - shall continue as at present.
- No new proprietary QR codes shall henceforth be launched by any payment system operators for any payment transaction.
- RBI shall continue a consultative process to standardise and improve interoperable QR codes, to enable beneficial features identified by the Phatak Committee.
- PSOs may take initiative to increase awareness about interoperable QR codes.
These measures are expected to reinforce the acceptance infrastructure, provide better user convenience due to interoperability and enhance system efficiency.