standardized QR codes catch the digitalization wave

Further Seamlessness for Consumers

The Quick Response code information matrix has, for its convenience and benefits, substituted the humble barcode. The codes have been used for gathering information and placed in magazines, billboards, brochures and even clothing. In 2018, they’re going through standardization so everyone can use them for digital payments.

It begins with standards

In the past couple of months, the QR Code has been receiving attention from the payment industry and its connoisseurs. However, they all realized that for QR codes to be used more broadly in payment transactions they need to be standardized for both merchants and payment providers.  

The three companies – Europay, Mastercard, Visa - have been recently working together on standardizing QR codes. The QR standard aims to guarantee consistency in QR code generation and capturing. EMVCo is pushing for its adoption on a global scale.

Implemented last year, the group’s EMV QR Code Specifications are designed to address transactions where the consumer presents the code, and also where the merchant does so.

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Its use for payments has up until now been employed in India, Singapore, Thailand, the Middle East, and Africa. Building on these efforts, the QR code will soon be spreading its reach.

Where is the QR code now?

The most recent case of a unified QR code for payments happened in Singapore recently. The government decided to do this because of the rise in e-wallet solutions and their numerous QR codes.

Now, consumers will be able to quickly choose from their preferred provider when it's time to pay while merchants only need to display a single QR Code to accept payment regardless of the mobile wallet provider. This unified payment code is said to be the first in the world and is accepted by 27 payment providers.

WhatsApp has added a new payment feature for the Android beta version of the app which will allow users to transfer money by scanning QR codes. This feature adds more to the payment function of the most popular messaging app. (NDTV)

Google is working on using QR codes to allow its users to send P2P payments. While Google Pay already enables P2P payments, XDA-Developers revealed that the company is adding support for QR codes to make that process a bit easier. (PYMNTS) 

QR opens doors for smaller players

The standardized QR code-based transactions present a certain step towards financial freedom in terms of cashless transactions, especially for small and medium-sized businesses

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This way, everyone from street merchants to luxury boutiques will be able to give consumers the option to pay by scanning a QR code and, furthermore, build on and complement investments in mobile payments. For those who are near the bottom of the food chain, QR technology opens the door for the speed and security of high-end point-of-sale systems with a digestible price tag, giving them the tools to keep up with larger competitors.