I clearly remember when I first saw a QR-Code eWallet (Quick Response Code). It just appeared to me as a fancier version of a barcode. Later on, I was amazed to see how this technology can be utilized. Amongst my excitement, I was most looking forward to seeing QR-Code eWallet .
Today, we all have already encountered the iconic black and white design of QR codes. An increase in smartphone and eWallet adoption have led to the high significance of QR codes in the tech space. And thus, we can see them almost everywhere, especially while making cashless payments.
Research by Statista estimates that around 11 million households in the USA alone will scan at least one QR code in the year 2020. This figure is way higher than the 9.76 million recorded in 2018.
The USA and countries like France, Malaysia, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, India, Canada, Thailand, and Indonesia see a considerable adoption of QR code payments.
In this article, we'll cover what QR codes are? What are the different types of QR codes? How can QR codes be utilized in payments? And many other vitals about QR codes. Let's first understand the basics about QR codes:
What is a QR code, and what's the history behind it?
QR or Quick Response codes are nothing but a two-dimensional code presented as black squares arranged on a square grid with a white background. They don't require a dedicated reader as any imaging devices such as smartphone cameras can read them. What distinguishes a QR code from a barcode is that it can store more data per unit area.
The QR code was invented in the 1990s by a Japanese company named Denso Wave. in its initial time, QR codes were used in the automotive industry for production, shipping, and tracking purposes. However, as time passed, people started implementing QR codes in several business areas such as item identification and marketing.
Many experts believe that QR codes didn't take off at the expected rate in their early life. However, in countries like China and India, QR code development played a crucial role in mobile payment services' rapid growth, by enabling QR code-based payments. Businesses preferred QR-Code eWallet over POS (Point of Sale) terminals, as the QR codes do not require significant hardware investments.
Types of QR codes
There are two categories for the types of QR codes. Let's discuss them one by one:
1. Static QR code
In this type, the destination URL is directly placed in the QR codes and cannot be edited. These QR codes cannot be tracked, but can be rectified by adding the URL. As the name suggests, content in these QR codes cannot be edited.
The static QR codes facilitate fast payments in several industries like in-store retail, delivery services, cab services, street vendors, in-home services, etc. To pay for any of these services, all the users have to scan the QR code using the in-app camera of their eWallet mobile app and pay. Such payment methods not only increase the speed of payment, but also enhance the customer experience.
2. Dynamic QR code
The dynamic QR codes are editable. They also come with advanced features such as password protection, access management and analysis, and device-based redirection. The dynamic QR codes can generate valuable insights, such as the number of people who scanned the code, type of devices used to scan the code, user's location and more.
Merchants worldwide widely use dynamic QR codes, as these QR codes can convey both the payment amount and merchant information. With this feature, the user has to accept the transaction by scanning the given QR code, and the payment will happen. However, to be noted, the merchants (who send the QR code) will have more control over the payment amount due to this feature.
On the other hand, with static QR codes, the user will enter the purchase amount and pay. The merchant only has to verify the payment. However, recent trends show that dynamic QR codes deliver a better payment experience to both customers and merchants.
How do QR codes work?
One significant difference between QR codes and barcodes is that the QR codes can be scanned from both screen and paper. In contrast, linear barcodes can only be scanned on paper. This is why you see QR codes in mobile/web apps, but also printed at brick and mortar stores.
An individual would require the following things to scan a QR code:
A barcode reader that can scan QR codes
A smartphone with an inbuilt camera.
Many QR code scanning apps are available in the app stores that allow users to scan the QR codes. All the users require to do is open the in-app camera and point it towards the QR code (both printed or on-screen). The app will immediately identify the QR code, and show a pop-up or notification to the user. By clicking on the notification or pop-up, the user reaches the intended location (website or any other URL).
Also, some banking and payment apps utilize QR codes to offer their customers an easy way to transfer money and make payments.
QR code-based Payments is the eWallet Technology trend for 2021
Among all the applications of QR-Code eWallet , mobile payments is the one that has seen the most hype. When contactless payments are in high demand, mobile wallet developers need to integrate contactless technologies into their eWallets. While not all smartphones are NFC capable, QR codes are the most feasible option for contactless payments.
There are several use cases of QR codes eWallet. Here are some of them:
Two-factor authentication is said to be a conversion rate killer in the e-commerce sector. It has been seen that some online shoppers would instead abandon their shopping carts than spend a few minutes typing their card details. QR codes are the way to rescue online merchants from this issue.
While checking out, the buyer can choose their bank from a dropdown list, and the bank generates a QR code that appears on the user's screen immediately. The user can scan this code using their digital wallet or mobile banking app and pay without any hassle. This way, the QR code-based payments won't require users to type in their card details.
2. Gas Station Payments
To make payments easy and convenient for their customers, many gas stations worldwide have started accepting payments via QR-Code eWallet . It speeds up the customer checkout time, which results in improved customer satisfaction and shorter customer wait times.
3. Brick and Mortar Stores
Many retail outlets across the world have started accepting payments via mobile wallets. As every smartphone is equipped with an in-built camera, it is easy for eWallet service providers to integrate QR code scanning functionality into their apps. The QR code eWallet payments make the checkout process fast and convenient for the customers. Hence, more and more retailers are adopting QR code payments for their businesses.
4. Transit Payments
The use of QR code eWallet in the transit sector is widespread nowadays. If you're planning to build an eWallet, you need to offer more than just the standard features to succeed. You can offer the merchants (transit company) QR codes that they can place on their vehicles and transport stations. The customers should be able to quickly scan the QR code using your eWallet app to make the payment.
Moreover, at places where NFC infrastructure is developed, the transit authorities should utilize NFC payments.
5. Toll Payments
Many toll booths have started accepting payments using QR-Code eWallet to facilitate faster and convenient toll payments. Some eWallet service providers have strayed away from QR codes, by instead providing RFID-based (Radio Frequency Identification) toll payment systems. For example, Paytm, a leading eWallet and digital banking service provider in India, have implemented RFID-based toll collection systems across India. The users would load money to their eWallets, which is automatically deducted for their toll payments.
6. Parking Payments
QR code payments can also be utilized for parking payment solutions. The parking payment solutions allow users to search and book parking spaces through a mobile app. Once the user has booked their parking space, they can simply scan the QR code presented on the garage to make the payment.
Why do modern eWallets incorporate QR codes?
QR code eWallet payments have several benefits that help businesses provide a better payment experience for the customers. Here are some of the benefits of QR code eWallet:
Instant Contactless Payments
One of the most crucial benefits of using QR codes for payments is that it facilitates contactless payments that can be done instantly. When compared to other modes of payments, such as card swipe and cash payments, QR code payments are quick and easy. All the users have to do is simply open the eWallet app and scan the QR code with the in-app camera. This will fetch the payee's details, which the users can confirm and make the payment.
QR code payments have proved to be secure. Till now, there haven't been any cases of misinterpretation by QR code scanning. Every QR code is unique and holds accurate information, which can be quickly fetched by the eWallet camera. Also, the QR code transfer data is heavily encrypted, which makes the mobile payments foolproof.
Quick and easy to set up
Setting QR codes for contactless payments is a cakewalk. QR code payments don't require the merchants to invest in infrastructure. The merchants will only need a digital or printed copy of their QR code, which will be linked to their merchant eWallet account. As most of the customers carry smartphones, they can confidently assume that they will be able to scan the QR codes to make payments. Merchants prefer QR codes based payments, as it eliminates the need for POS machines or any other special equipment used for contactless payments.
The Anatomy Of QR Codes
QR codes are complex matrices of black and white squares that appear like a pixelated image. Each of these squares serve as a greater function in the information-sharing capabilities of QR code development. The following are the elements of a QR code:
Position detection markets
Position detection markets are located at the three corners of each QR code. These markers allow a QR code scanner to quickly and accurately recognize the code. Identification markers are essential to identify the presence and orientation of a QR code in an image.
These markers are smaller than the position detection markers and help QR code scanners straighten out QR codes, especially when drawn on curved surfaces. To be noted that the more information the QR code store or, the larger the QR code is, the more alignment patterns it would require.
The timing pattern helps the QR code scanner determine how large the data matrix is by just alternating the black and white modules on the QR-Code eWallet .
At the present time, QR codes exist in 40 different versions. Version information markers specify which version is being used for a particular QR code. The most common versions used are between 1 to 7.
The format patterns carry information about data mask patterns and error tolerance, making it easier for the scanner to scan the code.
Data and error correction keys
This is where all your data is stored. This space also shares the space with error correction blocks that allow upto 30% of the QR code to be damaged.
Similar to the importance of white space in every design, the quiet zone improves code comprehension by QR code readers. It helps ensure that the QR code is distinguished from the surroundings.
Throughout the article, we’ve gone through the importance of QR code payment methods in mobile payment technology. More and more eWallet service providers are adopting QR codes to promote contactless payments.
If you’re looking for an eWallet development company that can help you integrate QR code payment functionality within your eWallet, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve already created several sophisticated mobile payment apps with QR-Code eWallet functionality. Alternatively to sending us an email with your inquiry, you can simply fill out a form here - Contact us.
Jermaine Trotman is the co-founder of Nimble AppGenie, a company renowned for its bespoke mobile app development and web development in e-wallet app development and fintech development.