By Prarthana Mitra
The banking sector is going through some major disruption. At the macro level, cryptocurrency is gaining steady popularity. The government on the other hand recently launched a unique banking model aiming at greater financial inclusion by uniting post offices with banks.
With the inauguration of the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) on Saturday, one can expect certain changes from the banking services we are used to. While the word on every mouth right now is QR card, very few of us are used to the concept of one.
The IPPB will be issuing these cards to anyone who opens an account in one of its branches, instead of a traditional debit card. Even if you can’t use a QR card at your nearest ATM, you can still withdraw cash and make cashless transactions with it. Here’s a guide on where, how and how best to use QR cards.
What is a QR card
A QR (Quick-Response) card uses a unique barcode to identify account holders. The code can be deciphered to identify the IPPB account holder through a smartphone or micro-ATMs, a hand-held device which will be distributed among postmen soon. With the launch of the IPPB mobile application, this will become easier.
What is the difference and security measures?
The primary difference between a QR and an ATM card is that the former works on biometric authentication and not on passwords or PINs. After customer identification using the QR code is successful, the postman or your point of contact at the bank will verify you a second time, using biometric data.
How can you withdraw cash?
After the two-step verification process, the postman delivers the cash to the customer at their doorstep, which is believed to yield positive results in the rural areas, and help further financial awareness. The doorstep banking service comes at a cost of Rs 25 per cash transaction.
Advantages of QR cards
QR card transactions can be done through postmen, post offices or Grameen Dak Sevaks (GDS). The QR card can further be used for money transfer, bill payment, and cashless shopping at small-scale stores. IPPB is reportedly trying to bring unorganised retail and small merchants into the fold so that even a small purchase can be conducted using the QR card.
The government also claims this is a safer way of going about withdrawal and transaction of money. ATM cards can be stolen or misplaced, the password system makes one vulnerable to hacking or fraud. Not so with the biometric and unique QR code verification. This makes your savings more secure and does away with the hassle of remembering ATM PINs.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.