When it comes to payment options, consumers have increasingly turned towards those that allow for quick and secure transactions. As a result, digital wallets and other alternative payment options, including contactless payments, have become much more common.
Consumer expectations around payment options – quick, easy, and safe – were already shifting. Once the pandemic started, the number of consumers using contactless payments got a big boost. This reinforced – and reinforces – how payments are transforming even faster and merchants need to keep up.
QR codes are emerging as an important payment option
A QR code, the abbreviation of Quick Response code, is a trademark name of the most popular type of 2D barcode readable by smartphones. QR codes are currently gaining popularity due to social distancing: by using QR codes to transfer payments, merchants and customers no longer need to handle cash, whether online or offline.
QR code payments function like a normal Point of Sale (POS) terminal: a customer uses their phone to scan the QR code and completes the payment on the spot. Every modern smartphone has a camera that recognizes QR codes; once the camera detects the QR code, a push notification comes up taking them to a screen where they input their payment details and complete the purchase.
The benefits of QR code technology
- A QR code can be printed and placed anywhere: outside a shop, on a website or in an email. This means that customers don’t need to be anywhere near a merchant and can complete payments from a safe distance.
- QR codes eliminate any need for cards or payment terminals – the only equipment necessary is a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.
- QR codes are actually more secure than card payments: all information is encrypted and customers don’t need to fill in details on a website.
How to use a QR Code for payment
- Include a QR code on your billing statements. This way customers have the option to scan-to-pay immediately. In time, the convenience will turn your traditionally paper bill paying customers into online bill payers.
- Print out a QR code, place it on an item and allow customers to scan and pay.
- Post your QR code at your checkout counter. Instead of physically interacting with your POS terminal, customers simply scan your code.
- If you’re offering curbside pickup or delivery, print out your QR code and attach it to packaging containing your customer’s items. Customers can scan the code at a safe distance to pay you.
- QR codes can be used to easily create touchless menu and payment options. Simply include a QR code on the receipt to provide that payment option.
- If you offer takeout, print out your QR code and put it in your store window. Your customers point their smartphone camera at the code and are taken to a webpage where they enter the amount they owe and tap to finalize the payment.
Merchants should look for the right provider
If a merchant wants to offer QR code payments to its customers, it should be sure to partner with the right payment provider. Work with a provider that’s going to give you multiple payment options so you can in turn give your customers the option to pay how they prefer.