Most banks fail to launch BharatQR-based payment system: report

The BharatQR, the payment app launched by the government last month with much fanfare, is yet to find many takers as most banks are still not ready with applications that support this mode of payment, say reports.

BharatQR was developed mainly to provide customers and merchants with an option beyond debit cards, which require the installation of costly point of sale (PoS) machines.

The interoperable QR-code based payment option also claimed the support of all the large card networks such as Mastercard, Visa and National Payments Council of India (NPCI).

However, only seven of the 14 banks that claimed to have gone live on the day of the launch have actually rolled out the BharatQR-based applications, a BloombergQuint report quoted AP Hota, chief executive officer of NPCI, as saying.

The application was launched in Mumbai on 20 February with a target of bringing a million merchants on board by the end of the year.

Hooda said, banks need more time for development and adaption to new payment models, adding that NPCI has asked card networks and banks to submit reports on the progress of BharatQR.

The introduction of BharatQR also involves considerable changes in software to integrate with the new applications. Also, customers need to carry internet enabled smartphones to be able to pay using a QR-code based mechanism.

''QR-code is a new world order and banks still have their legacy systems running which will now need to be changed completely. We have to sometimes convince, cajole and even tell banks that someone else will take that current account if you don't provide this service,'' the Quint report quoted Madhusudanan, co-founder and chief executive officer of Chennai- based firm Yap, which is rolling out BharatQR based solutions for banks, as saying.

Besides, under the QR-code based payment solutions, merchants need to sign up with Mastercard, Visa and NPCI separately to get their unique merchant identification numbers, which go into an application that allows them to collect payments in real time from a customer who scans the code through their smartphone.

This makes the system cumbersome as merchants are unlikely to do all the paperwork just to get another payment option