Payments & Transactions In India: Is QR The Future?

Payments & Transactions In India: Is QR The Future?

2 September 2022

QR Codes are becoming more common and popular in India, especially with the growing popularity of UPI. In this post, I explore the different payment methods, parallels with China and the different use-cases where QR will get huge adoption in the days to come.

Let’s consider the different modes of payment through QR code and understand the convenience and cost for each payment mode to understand the popularity of QR codes.

The following are the different modes of payments –

  • Cash
  • Swipe your Card on a POS/m-Pos machine
  • Tap your card (if contact less) on a POS machine
  • Use NFC enabled via GPay
  • Use a QR code to pay
  • Use a SmartPos on mobile

The RBI statistics show that only 3.2m Bharat QR are deployed by the banks. However, this number is difficult to believe given the number of merchants who have started accepting payments through Bharat QR codes.

The opinion is divided on your favorite method of payment. And this gets further complicated between debit and credit. However from the table above one can see a clear difference in cost of the processor as a big hurdle for acceptance. As per RBI statistics last updated on Dec 20 and including only bank pos terminals, there are 5.74m machines in circulation with RBL leading the 1.76m machines. This does not include third party terminals. This number increased substantially due to demonetization with the number at only 1.1m in 2015. To give you perspective, there are 2.08m ATM machines in circulation. The RBI data similarly suggests that there are 3.2m Bharat QR deployed by the bank.

QR code as a connecting layer between the physical world and you.

The idea behind Bharat QR is that we can use the same QR code for any transaction across India. The intent being to bridge the gap between local and national players. 

From a merchant perspective, the biggest benefit is that they can now accept payment from anyone in India without having to worry about the customer’s bank account details or debit card. This ability will have a huge impact on businesses that are currently not able to accept digital payments due to lack of infrastructure or unwillingness by customers. 

We’re also seeing adoption by online sellers who want to expand into offline sales, and taxi aggregators who want to improve their customer experience with new offerings such as food delivery and payments at restaurants.

Order a meal in the train or a meal at the theatre

QR codes have been around for quite some time now. But they’ve been used mostly as a way to promote your brand or product. Or even as a way to share some information with someone else.

Now, What is Bharat QR code? We can do a lot more with Bharat Qr code. Consider ordering your meal on the train. Currently someone picks up your order and then comes back for payment. With QR codes, you can just place an order at the appropriate time. And quickly pay for them too. No hassle for change or missing out on the order person. Or consider you’re sitting at the theatre and want to order your favourite pizza. Just scan the QR code on the seat and be done!

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