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QRIS Service Fees Are No Longer Free, 26 Million Merchants Have Adopted

As many as 91% of merchants using QRIS are MSMEs. 77% of transactions under IDR 100 thousand

As of 1 July 2023, Bank Indonesia has again imposed a service fee merchant discount rate (MDR) for QRIS services for micro businesses by 0,3%. Previously, during a pandemic, this fee was waived to provide incentives for industry players. This implementation was taken three years after QRIS was introduced to the public and rolled out to various merchant scales, from large to micro.

According to BI data as of May 2023, the number of merchants using QRIS has reached 26,1 million. Of this total, 91,26% are MSMEs. Then, the number of QRIS users reached 35,8 million with a transaction value of IDR 18,08 trillion. Meanwhile, 77% of QRIS transactions have a nominal value of under IDR 100.

Even though the number of merchants is dominant, the decision to impose tariffs on micro-businesses is currently considered appropriate because it is entering a pandemic recovery, so it is not contradictory with the possibility of merchants choosing to return to cash, for example.

"In terms of time there are no problems. The economy has recovered and there are more and more QRIS users. It only remains for QRIS organizers to improve their services, from a financial standpoint. quality. How can this QRIS service be maximized, such as the process settlement which is faster, or a system that is safer for sellers and does not harm the consumer side," said Indef economist Nailul Huda when contacted DailySocial.id.

Nailul continued, if you look at the size of the MDR for micro businesses, it is quite small compared to the service fees from other payment options, such as credit cards. Not to mention that these micro business transactions are also relatively small, so the deductions are also getting smaller.

Take for example, if you make a transaction of IDR 10 at a stall, the merchant will only pay 0,3% of the transaction to the payment service provider or IDR 30.

"So the additional cost is relatively acceptable," he added.

He also noted, he did not rule out the possibility of traders making price adjustments so that the MDR fee would be passed on to consumers. Even traders who are just willing to provide QRIS can be sure to start considering it too.

"But so far, I think the QRIS MDR is the cheapest and most compact compared to MDR costs payment other."

Bank Indonesia has advised traders who find tariffs of more than 0,3% by payment service providers (PJP) to report directly to call center BI 131. PJP and traders also may not charge this fee to customers. This is stated in PBI Number 23 of 2021 article 52 paragraph 1.

Bank Indonesia's response

When contacted DailySocial.id, Group Head of Bank Indonesia Retail Payment System Policy Department Fitria Irmi Triswati conveyed that MDR in principle is a fee charged to merchants by PJP to be able to receive and process payments using QRIS.

"This MDR policy is stipulated by BI, of course, considering national interests, society, industry and compliance with transparency aspects," he said.

Actually, before the pandemic, he continued, QRIS's MDR when it was first launched was set at 0,7% applicable to all segments of business actors. However, during a pandemic, the QRIS MDR for micro-enterprises (UMI) was set at 0% to support UMI's economic activities so that it would not be too affected by the economic downturn that was currently lying low anywhere in the world.

"Right now the economic recovery is getting more intense, especially with the statement that it has entered endemic, this policy needs to be adjusted."

The 0,3% figure is also considered cheaper than the QRIS MDR for other segments of business actors or pre-pandemic rates. MDR QRIS in general is also relatively more efficient than other payment methods (eg credit cards) and MDR rates for QR transactions in other countries.

Fitria continued, the adjustments made at this time were based on the spirit to improve service quality to users and merchants, including through faster disbursement of funds to merchants, improving security aspects, outreach and education, improving services to merchants and expanding QRIS adoption which in the end can increase market access for UMI merchants and increase UMI merchant income.

"In addition, UMI's MDR QRIS policy aims to ensure the continuity of QRIS implementation by related parties in processing QRIS transactions, including the development of QRIS innovations in the future while taking into account the interests of users and merchants."

The central bank also ensures that it does not take advantage of the MDR. This value is fully assigned to the industry, which includes institutions issue, institution acquirer, institution switching, Indonesian Payment System Association (ASPI), and National Electronic Transaction Settlement (PTEN).

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"That's the ecosystem and those who have an interest. BI's position is an institution that formulates policies," said Head of the Payment System Policy Department Dicky Kartikoyono as quoted from CNBC Indonesia.

For the record, BI determines the details of the QRIS MDR tariff by category:

  • Micro business 0,3%
  • Excluding micro business 0,7%
  • Education 0,6%
  • Gas stations, public service agencies or BLU and public service obligation aka PSO 0,4%

In comparison, MDR fees themselves vary depending on the payment method the consumer chooses. The numbers will also vary according to the issuer of the payment system, as well as whether the transactions are across banks or with the same bank.

Citing the site CashlezHere's a list of rates:

Payment methodMDR rates
Debit/contactless Visa and Master Card2%
Credit cards and international cards2% (off us); 1,8% (on us)
GPN debit card1% (off us); 0,15% (on us)
Kredivo2,3% (excluding VAT & PPh)
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