Masterpass QR debuts in India amid cash crisis

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India's growing cash problem has sparked debate about how mobile payments can play a role in how the country's consumers will initiate transactions and manage money in the future.

With that backdrop, Mastercard has launched its quick-response mobile payments system in India through its Masterpass mobile wallet, designed to help mobile banking users complete purchases through their mobile phones at the physical point of sale.

Ratnakar Bank will be the first bank in India to integrate Masterpass QR onto its mobile platform and OnGo digital wallet. The use of QR codes, either displayed on a phone's screen or scanned with its camera, is considered a more universal option than Near Field Communication, which requires specific hardware.

Last month, Mastercard rolled out the Masterpass QR enhancement in 32 countries in Africa.

"Shoppers can make fast, simple and secure digital payments at any place where Masterpass QR is accepted," Porush Singh, Mastercard division president for South Asia, said in a Nov. 16 press release. "It means that they no longer need to carry cash or their physical bank cards to make payments."

Ratnakar Bank's OnGo wallet would carry a virtual prepaid Mastercard that customers can use for the cashless transactions, such as for taxi or auto rickshaw fares.

Masterpass QR advances the use of "cashless payment methods to limit the flow of cash in the economy and take decisive steps toward realizing the dream of a digital India," Singh added.

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