ATM/debit cards vs QR cards

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) was founded on 1 September 2018. It does not issue ATM cards and debit cards for both cash and cashless transactions. Instead, IPPB issues new QR (Quick-Response) cards which work on biometric authentication and not on passwords or PINs.

At present, IPPB offers multiple type of accounts. None of these accounts offer an ATM or debit card.

What is a QR card?
A QR card contains a QR code or barcode that is used to identify account holders. Each QR code is quique. The code is deciphered to identify the IPPB account holder. It can be deciphered through a smartphone or micro-ATMs, a hand-held device which are used by postmen.

How transactions are done?
A QR card uses two-step verification process. Firstly, account holder’s identification is done using the QR code. Secondly, account holder’s verification is done using biometric data. For instance, upon completion of this two-step verification process, the account holder is paid in cash which is carried by the postman. Doorstep banking services are charged at Rs 25 per cash transaction.

QR cards can also be used for other purposes such as money transfer, bill payment and cashless shopping.

Where are QR cards used?
One can use QR cards to carry out transactions through post offices, postmen or Grameen DakSevaks (GDS). Small merchants and kirana stores are also expected to join the IPPB network.

What are the advantages of a QR card over ATM card?
ATM cards are less secure. Money can be withdrawn by anyone who has ATM card and PIN. On the other hand, QR cards require biometrics of account holder to carry out transaction. Therefore, transactions using QR card can be carried out only by actual account holder. Moreover, a QR card holder is not required to remember PIN.

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