It is official. QR codes generated by the Unified Payments and Interface (UPI) will be merged with the ones generated by BharatQR. In a notification to member banks, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) instructed them to ensure that their applications be equipped to read both UPI QR as well as BharatQR by 15th September 2017. At the same time, the NPCI instructed all RuPay acquiring banks to integrate UPI credentials in BharatQR along with IFSC and Aadhaar credentials. MediaNama had reported in April that the NPCI was trying to merge the QR codes of the payments systems. The merging of merchant UPI credentials with BharatQR began in May when they released Merchant QR Code Specification V 4.0, the NPCI added. To refresh, BharatQR is an inter-operable QR code network for payments which includes card networks Visa, MasterCard, RuPay and American Express. Implications What this means is that UPI apps need to support scanning of BharatQR QR format, and when scanned, the apps will have to pick up the embedded UPI virtual address and complete transaction. The UPI and BharatQR have different merchant discount rates (MDR) so it will be a challenge for card networks and the NPCI to sort out where the transaction is originating and charge merchants accordingly. MDR is an interbank fee levied by banks on merchants to facilitate a digital transaction.On the UPI, merchants are charged a merchant discount rate (MDR) of 0.25% for payments below Rs 1,000 and 0.65% for all other charges. Meanwhile, the RBI is proposing a differentiated MDR…
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