The Regulation on the Generation and Use of TR QR Code in Payment Services (“Regulation”) of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (“CBRT”) have entered into force following it is promulgated on the Official Gazette numbered 31220 dated August 21, 2020. With this respect, payment transactions that are within the scope of the Law on Payment and Securities Settlement Systems, Payment Services, and Electronic Money Institutions numbered 6493 (“Law No.6493”) and made using a QR code are regulated.

Pursuant to the Regulation, TR QR code will be used in every payment transaction that is regulated as a payment system under the Law No. 6493 and made using a QR code. With this respect, the Interbank Card Center (“BKM”) will establish and operate the QR Code Routing System to ensure the transfer of the QR code and the information contained in it between payment service providers, if necessary. The regulation also determines the authorities and responsibilities of payment service providers as well as the responsibilities of businesses regarding TR QR code transactions.

In addition, the Regulation stipulates that it is not compulsory to use TR QR code for domestic payment transactions made with QR code using payment instruments issued under the legislation of another country, where one of the parties is residing abroad, and the infrastructure of a payment service provider located abroad is used for the payment transaction.

The payment service providers are obliged to comply with the provisions of the Regulation until December 31, 2021.

As per the press release on Turkish QR Code Rules and Principles published in CBRT website on August 21, 2020, a standard QR code structure has been established to enable interoperability by using a common language within the payments infrastructure ecosystem, support all sorts of initiatives from innovators, and contribute to the widespread acceptance of QR codes in payments.

In addition, CBRT aims to enhance the use of a common QR code in retail payments, initiate practical, easier, more efficient and safer payments, and thus help to reduce use of physical cash in the form of banknotes. It is explained that the initiative is predicted to be embraced as COVID-19 pandemic has affected financial transactions globally and contactless payment is more important than before.