QR Codes Foundation
The small black and white 2D pixel pattern called the ‘Quick Response Code’ is prominently visible at the counters of most of the business set ups including small kirana stores, petrol pumps, tea stalls and even pan shops looking to accept digital payments.
Since 2017, QR code is being pushed by most of the B2C payment companies as the primary mode for digital payments, but it was the Japanese who invented it back in the nineties for their automotive industry.
Since then, QR codes have been used in greeting cards, airline boarding passes, shipping labels, luggage tags and printed flyers for promotional activities to name a few. Starbucks cleverly used QR code on posters inside its stores to test drive its new app and guess what 27% of in-store Starbucks customers downloaded the app using QR code. The leading social media platform ‘Snapchat’ introduced its very own ‘Snapcodes’ through which users could add each other.
So, What Makes QR Code So Special?
The best part of QR code is that its FREE and anyone can make use of it. Fast readability and greater storage capacity of QR code is the primary reason for its quick and rapid adoption. It is often misinterpreted as Barcode; however, both are different. Unlike a barcode, it stores a larger amount of data in a unique way. The best part – there’s is no limit on the number scans on a QR code and they never expire.
Types of QR Code
Static QR Code – Here the actual destination website URL is placed directly into the QR code, so the content is not editable. These are non-trackable, which can be rectified by adding a URL. But, by adding more data, it becomes denser, and cannot be scanned.
Dynamic QR Code – This type of QR code is editable. It has additional features like password protection, scan analytics, access management and device-based redirection. You can find out the details of the number of people who have scanned the QR Code, their location, and the type of device they used to perform the scan. It contains a less dense QR code image that is more likely to scan.
Difference between Static and Dynamic QR Codes
While both the static and dynamic QR codes lead the user to a specific location it’s the encoding of information that differentiates them. In static QR codes, once the content is encoded it cannot be changed as the data is stored directly in the QR code graphic. The QR codes displayed on a signboard to make payment is a static one and can’t be changed. Dynamic QR codes are the advanced version, where the content changes dynamically. This enables to respond to any changes and saves reprinting costs and effort.
Benefits of QR Codes As Payment Methods
- Easily make cashless payment transaction without swiping credit or debit cards
- Stores more information compared to other modes
- User can scan from any angle
- Link with any bank a/c
- Business owners don’t need to invest in any additional hardware
- Payment takes place instantly via IMPS
- Additional layers of security without sharing card details
- There’s no need to share additional details like mobile number and CVV code
For payment companies the cost of setting up a QR code payment for the merchant is very less. Providing a printed QR code laminated sign or a sticker to the merchants does wonders. Customers can open their app, point to the QR and make the payment instantly. Especially for low ticket purchases, QR codes have been a boon. They continue to be quite popular with the younger generation. With the explosion of QR code payment options, shop owners don’t hesitate in putting up multi-brand QR payment options in their counters.
QR codes continue to witness developments and the most prominent one of them all is the Bharat QR. NPCI along with MasterCard & Visa developed the Bharat QR – the world’s first fully interoperable QR code payments. It overcomes the limitations of closed loop QR code-based acceptance.
Similarly, in Singapore, the leading acquirers and payment networks have announced their collaboration and formation of consortium to enable interoperable QR code payments. With all the leading smartphone manufacturers launching feature phones with inbuilt QR code reader functionality, the usage of QR codes among consumers will only gain popularity.