Although Quick Response (QR) Codes have been used for business purposes for over a decade, they have lately gained popularity. They were extensively used during the epidemic as the world transitioned to a contactless way of life as a COVID-19 preventive strategy. One issue still stands, more than three years after lockdowns were implemented: Are QR Codes still widely used and pertinent today?
The use of QR Codes is expanding quickly and is expected to have a big impact in the future as well. With the widespread use of smartphones and the internet, QR Codes have emerged as a practical and effective method to involve customers. Cashless economy saw a new lease of life in 2016 when demonetization forced Indians to transition to digital payments. This was propelled further by Jio’s internet revolution. Today, 881.25 million internet users and subscribers1 , the digital payments ecosystem in India has evolved into a behemoth, with increased adoption of cashless payment methods such as UPI, RuPay cards, FASTags, all-in-one quick response (QR) and many more.
In a nutshell: Shorter customer journeys means a better customer experience.
The key features of QR payments are:
The Changing face of Digital Payments
The pandemic-induced nation-wide lockdown caused what is called ‘the huge reset’. It practically forced billions to stay at home for months and also enabled the adoption of digital payments for purchases – ranging from small time purchases such as groceries to big ticket ones such as electronics. Due to the very real possibility of infection via fomites and direct contact, the process of exchanging cash was feared and the demand for digital payment platforms grew exponentially.
Retailers across grocery and local kirana stores grabbed the opportunity and witnessed an immediate spike in payments via digital modes like POS, UPI and QR codes. In fact, many grocery stores reported several fold growth in business, post-adoption of various digital payment methods. Cut to today - , digital payments have emerged as not only a matter of convenience, but also a necessity. UPI has been a great enabler, as consumers can directly pay via their bank account using UPI. In August 2023, India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) made history by reaching the 10 billion mark for the first time. In terms of the value of funds settled, UPI recorded Rs 15.7 lakh crore in August, slightly higher than the Rs 15.3 lakh crore figure for July.
Many economic experts believe that the digital payments sector with its stability and potential for innovation will play a pivotal role in rebooting the economy, especially the (M)SMEs. According to a report by RedSeer in fact, growing digitisation of merchants is expected to contribute to the growth of digital payments to INR 7,092 trillion by 20252 .
The magic of one-tap QR code
Although digital payments include multiple payment methods, one that really works for both the consumers and merchants is the QR code. Off late, QR-based payments are emerging as the most sought after payment solution, especially catering to retail, small and informal set-ups such as kirana stores and street vendors.
QR-based transactions can enable instant payments by integrating over 150+ UPI apps, top-grade security, higher reliability, and an easy set up procedure, providing you a hassle-free experience, with no hardware investments. All you need to set it up is a bank account, a smartphone, a data connection, and the only infrastructure set up – a QR code sticker.
Last year, NPCI launched UPI Lite and UPI 123Pay. UPI Lite allows users to make payments of upto Rs. 200 quickly, without the use of UPI PIN, via digital payment apps.Money is deducted from the user’s UPI Lite balance.UPI Lite has ensured increased usage of UPI by regular users- owing to convenience. UPI 123PAY is a payment system for non-smart phone/feature phone users by virtue of which they can make payment using UPI (Unified Payment Interface) without Internet in a safe and secure manner. This will work wonders in driving the financial inclusion story and taking digital payments to the hinterlands of the country, as the users in the remote corners of the country will have the option of making quick payments via UPI.
Get your own QR code today!
As of today, BharatPe has an entrenched network of 10 million + merchants across 400+ cities in the country. It is clocking an annualised payment value of over US$ 26 billion across its payment offerings (QR and POS). . The company is committed to transform the way SMEs view payments and empower them. BharatPe launched the industry-first interoperable UPI QR in 2018, with zero transaction charges. With just a single QR code, merchants can accept payment via a range of payment apps such as Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay and 150+ other UPI apps. Through BharatPe, merchants can accept payments across multiple payment modes and also avail business loans whenever required.