Circulars/Notifications - Payment System Department  
 PSD Circular No. 02 of 2019
September 27, 2019 

The Presidents/Chief Executives,
All Banks/Microfinance Banks/Payment System Operators & Service Providers
(PSOs & PSPs)/Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs)

Dear Sir/Madam,

Standardization of Quick Response (QR) Codes for Payments in Pakistan

         Quick Response (QR) Codes have been emerging as low cost payment acceptance alternative to Point of Sale (POS) terminals in Pakistan, especially for small merchants. Although QR codes have been deployed in substantial numbers, the volume of transactions has not achieved desired levels primarily due to their lack of interoperability.

2.      Therefore, as a first step towards achieving interoperability of Payment QR Codes in Pakistan, SBP after extensive stakeholder consultations has decided that henceforth all Institutions issuing and/or acquiring QR codes for payments in Pakistan shall adopt EMVCo’s EMV QR Code Specifications for Payment Systems (QRCPS). Further, non-EMV QR Codes already deployed in Pakistan shall comply with this standard by 31st March, 2020.

3.       Institutions issuing/acquiring QR Codes shall also ensure:

  1. Compliance with branding guidelines for QR Codes displayed at merchant locations (attached at Annexure-A).

  2. Data related to issuance and usage of QR codes, as per Annexure-B, is submitted on quarterly basis to Payment Systems Department (PSD) within a fortnight of quarter end. 

  3. Compliance of SBP’s instructions, guidelines, rules and regulations on Consumer Protection and Dispute Resolution issued and amended from time to time.

4.       Further, Institutions acquiring QR Codes are also encouraged to:

  1. Promote innovative uses of QR codes like invoice/challan based payments, branch based Inter-bank Fund Transfers (IBFT) etc.; and

  2. Plan for achieving inter scheme interoperability in due course of time.


Please acknowledge receipt.



Enclosed: As above.



(Syed Sohail Javaad)

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