E-wallet firms approach NPCI for a common QR code for UPI

A common Quick Response, or OR, code is important as it will facilitate e-wallets to have interoperability under Unified Payment Interface, or UPI


New Delhi: Facing technical difficulties in developing a common Quick Response (QR) code with Unified Payment Interface (UPI)—a key facet to ensure inter-operability, e- wallet companies have approached the National Payments Corporation Of India (NPCI) to find a solution to the problem.

A common QR code is important as it will facilitate e-wallets to have interoperability under the UPI.

At present, users can access UPI through their own unique virtual payment address (VPA). In order to achieve interoperability, both the unified QR code as well as the VPA of the user has to match with each other.

The matter is pending with NPCI, who will decide whether the VPA will change or not to match the unified code .

“E-wallet to UPI interoperability is a technical challenge for us rather than a regulatory one , both the UPI QR code and the VPA have to merge if we have to achieve it,” said Sunil Kulkarni, deputy managing director, Oxigen Services Pvt Ltd, a mobile wallet company.

Oxigen has also developed a unified QR code among it, Visa, Mastercard and Rupay in the past . This is a separate QR code, which they are planning to launch with the UPI .

Among a slew of measures announced in the Union budget on 1 February the need for a unified QR code-based payments was also put forth.

Since then other e-wallets like Mobikwik and ItzCash are also thinking of developing this code and are in talks with various card issuers like Visa and MasterCard.

“Interoperability between the different players is essential so that there is some standardisation on how things will operate,” said Kulkarni, in an earlier interview with Mint.

Launched by the NPCI in August last year, the UPI is a system that will allow customers to instantaneously transfer funds across different banks with the use of a single identifier which will act as a virtual address .

This will eliminate the need to exchange sensitive information such as bank account numbers during a financial transaction.

A customer will only need to know the mobile number of the other person and his own VPA to facilitate a transaction using UPI. There is no need for a one-time password, OTP, or a PIN unlike other methods .

Having a separate code now for the Common QR code might mean inconvenience for the user who will have to handle these multiple codes.

“ Both the codes can coexist, it will not be inconvenient for people. We need to try different options for different use-cases. A common QR code is largely useful for merchants whereas for other peer payments, VPA’s can be useful,” said Naveen Surya, managing director, ItzCash, and chairman, Payments Council of India.


[Copyright by Suranjana Roy]