The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Thursday launched a new retail initiative, which enables payments in shops using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) platform by scanning QR codes. Reliance Retail has become the first organised retail chain to accept payments under the new facility.
The initiative is live in over 200 Reliance Retail stores across various formats, including Reliance Fresh and Reliance Digital. The facility will be extended to all Reliance Retail stores across the country . In-store UPI payment has been enabled through a dynamic QR-code interface, designed by payment aggregator Innovation, which runs on existing point of sale (PoS) terminals–card swipe machines.
“The payment options be ing offered by Samsung and Apple are all card-based and expensive. Under UPI, the merchant discount rate (MDR) -the fee borne by the seller to provide services–is 0.25% for payments below Rs 1,000 and 0.65% for all other charges,” said AP Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI. Hota added that the MDR on UPI could come down if the RBI redu ces the fee on debit cards. The RBI on Thursday said it needs more time to decide on new rates on debit cards.
NPCI has also developed the BHIM app, which is among the various applications for UPI payment. According to Rajeev Agarwal, MD & CEO, Innoviti, the application makes it possible to enable QR code-based acceptance without any additional capital. “All that is required is an upgrade of the software on the card swipe machine.In some of the newer machines it can be done by a remote, while older machines may require a visit from our representative,” Agarwal said.