Did you really think QR codes had become passé?

There was a time when everyone was trying to embrace QR codes, and they’re certainly in place for many loyalty schemes today. Yet in the UK at least their use appears to have dwindled, and I’m sure it’s not just my imagination! But here’s a prediction for you: given recent global technology trends, I think QR codes will be back with a passion.

The promise of QR code payment

Why? Take a look at WeChat in China. It’s a sort of combination of WhatsApp and Snapchat. It has a payment option to transfer money between WeChat users (peer-to-peer) as well as to make payments online and with participating outlets.

It’s all executed via QR codes on the phone, and it’s all very easy and clever. An individual accepts a QR scan and just makes payment. It’s known that WeChat and the Chinese mobile and online payment platform Alipay are looking to expand globally.

There’s no doubt that existing App providers everywhere will start to deliver the same service. The major card players are keeping a very close eye on it. Visa’s eco-system already embraces a QR-based mobile payments solution, so people can send payments directly from their Visa debit or credit card account to all kinds of merchants and businesses using just their phone.

It’s very much ‘on the cards’: mPOS QR enablement

In order for cards to be accepted, we’re now seeing first-generation mPOS vendor devices being enabled for QR technology. It means there’s a button on the mPOS device that says ‘QR technology’. In these early days of developments, though, questions remain about reliability and performance. But we’ll get there.

Types of QR Code payment – the ‘word on the street’

It will be interesting to monitor market developments, in terms of how the two main types of current QR code payments play out– i.e. using QR code-enabled plastic card and mPOS devices, and/or using QR codes on mobile devices. By the way, the word on the street is that manufacturers very much expect QR codes on cards with mPOS devices featuring a ‘QR technology’ button. That’s a lot of back end work for the industry.

Pioneering new ways of paying

But the market is developing in other ways, too. Retailers will put QR codes on products so that customers simply purchase them directly from their mobile devices. This will then automatically take purchases off the retailer’s stock, receive payment and trigger updates throughout the business.

Looking further ahead, of course, there’s the amazon go model, using QR codes, biometrics and machine learning to enable completely seamless payments in store. So yes, yet more technological possibilities with the power to change how we live, shop and work!

Watch this space

No matter what the trends and technologies are, as a Payment Gateway provider, we’ll be integrating and ensuring the payments are safe, secure and being delivered where they’re supposed to be. The technology isn’t really quite there yet, but the trends are emerging fast. Our job at Anderson Zaks is to keep a close eye on the market, to be sure we’re ahead of the game and to give the best advice to our customers. So watch this space, we’ll be watching and commenting again!

Author: Dai Roberts, Chief Information and Security Officer