Rethinking the Role of QR Codes in Payments

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24 September 2020

Why They Remain Resilient


Many who have followed mobile payments for a long time thought that QR codes would only be used short-term, perhaps as a “bridging technology.” After all, near field communication (NFC)-based solutions offer a superior contactless “tap and go” payment experience.

However, QR codes have proven remarkably resilient. In many developing markets they dominate mobile payments. Even in the developed markets, there seems to be a growing number of options to pay and interact with merchants and service providers via QR codes. As consumers seek truly contact-free payment and shopping experiences in the post-pandemic world, can QR codes provide the answer?

This report discusses:

  • How QR codes came to dominate retail payments in the fast-growing markets (e.g., China, India).
  • QR code adoption in the developed markets (e.g., USA, UK, Europe).
  • Opportunities for banks, technology providers, and other payments companies.

Financial Institutions mentioned in the report include:

Intesa Sanpaolo, KBZ Bank, Paytm Payments Bank, Unicredit.

Technology firms, solutions, associations, and regulators mentioned in the report include:

Accel Robotics, American Express, Alipay, Amazon Go, Apple, Bharat QR, Bancomat Pay, Bancontact, Blik, Bluecode, BPC Banking Technologies, ePassi, European Mobile Payment Systems Association (EMPSA), European Payments Initiative, EMVCo, FIS, Fiserv’s Clover, Google, IMPS/ UPI, JCB, MagicCube, Mastercard, Mobeewave, Mobile Pay, momo Pocket, The Monetary Authority of Singapore, MB Way, Pagaqui, PayPal, People's Bank of China, Pivo, Plick, Reserve Bank of India, RuPay, Samsung, Square, Swish, Twint, UnionPay’s QuickPass, Vipps, Visa, WeChat Pay.