Chapter 5

Universal Access to Infrastructure and an Open Payments System is Working for India

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

The Open Payment Systems approach is a key approach used by Government of India in implementation of GST.  Merchants and traders may select how they choose to pay based on their preferred payment platform.  To ensure the success and ease of implementation of the critical GST programme and maximise revenue collection, Government recognised the need to have all payment options available.  In the same manner the Government wants to optimise tax collection by allowing payment neutral options and choice of how to pay for taxpayers, merchants and traders want the same landscape for their consumers and businesses to optimise sales and commerce.


A strong example of the power of open payment systems is the recent deployment of the world class BharatQR code in India. The payments industry, led by the RBI, developed the world’s first interoperable QR solution. The BharatQR code is a uniform digital payments technology that eliminates the need for costly POS terminals therefore making electronic payment acceptance affordable and attainable for small merchants and traders. BharatQR has been the centerpiece of CAIT and ADB efforts to convert members to electronic payments. This technology is a model of how open payment systems result in the best possible outcome.

Petrol Pump Mandate

Government of India mandates for digital payments at petrol pumps and incentives for merchants have resulted in a six-fold increase in electronic payments since demonestisation.  Importantly, this mandate has normalised card usage for consumers by forcing a transition to meeting vital need for petrol.

Transit and Toll Collection

Government of India is leading the transition to electronic payments by mandating digital payments at toll plazas on national highways while states such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and others are moving to convert transit to cashless payments. These initiatives, when open to all payment options, promote widespread use of digital payments by requiring essential daily operations to be cashless and will socialise consumers to electronic payments and promote the demand necessary to compel merchants, traders and businesses to accept these payments more broadly,

Together we can build the best electronic payments system for a Less-Cash India.