The government is mulling bringing in a rule to make it mandatory for shops to have a QR code payment acceptance provision. This may be implemented as soon as the elections are over and the new government takes over. This has to be seen in the context of the Digital India plan to encourage payments being made in digital mode instead of cash.
The larger plan, however, is to make more changes and include the GST refunds/benefits where possible within the UPI payments ecosystem. That will build the incentive for the shopping public to make payments through UPI. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which owns UPI, will have to make the changes and make it universally acceptable to all stakeholders.
Some work in this direction has already been done with the GST council at its last meeting and with the elections on, things are at a standstill. The GST Council has approved the proposal. One may see the notification being released in June-July.
Under the proposal, shops too small is size might be exempted and those above a threshold may be compelled to have the payment tool that can read the QR codes from the mobile phones of the customers. Going ahead, there may be a requirement for invoices to be printed with the QR codes in them. The government and the implementation agencies seem to have models from other countries, including China, where digital payments have been mandated at retail shops across the country. It is believed that it works to the benefit of everyone. There is the possibility of GST evasion being checked too.
So, with the election results just ten days away, it may not be long before your neighbourhood store will allow you to use your UPI app to make the payment for your purchases.