Companies in the payments space find 8 innovative ways of using QR codes

The mobile QR code and barcode redemption market is estimated to cross $50 Bn globally by 2017, according to Mind Commerce. Quick Response (QR) codes were initially designed for identifications of auto parts in the Japanese automotive industry. Automakers could keep track of parts, inventory, and quality checks.

QR codes have come a long way from inventory and quality checks at automakers. QR codes have found a great use in the marketing industry. Some ways in which QR codes have been adopted by various companies include:

  1. Games for promotion: Pirates, buried fortunes, ancient maps and lost jewels usually come to mind when someone says Treasure Hunt. Taking an out of the box approach, MoLo Rewards in combination with Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) had set up a treasure hunt for a group of top retailers in UK between 21st and 29th of September 2013. The video below shows a small clip of the Purple Flag Treasure hunt event where NFC and QR codes are seen in action:

Source: MoLo Rewards

  1. Shopping online through platforms like Twitter: BuyReply is an Australian-based transactional advertising platform. Which allows consumers to buy directly from any offline medium including television, radio, print & web without requiring to download an app. BuyReply also enables customers to buy via Twitter and QR code scans. The customer emails laptop to or Tweets @shopharveynorman laptop to buy a laptop. You can read more on BuyReply’s scan to buy feature, here.

  1. Rewards and Bill pay at Restaurants: RewardLoop, a mobile loyalty startup, designed a loyalty program. The program rewarded customers based on spend per transaction through tapping into data from Prestons existing POS system. A POS adaptor which is a hardware device was installed between the POS system and the receipt printer to listen in on the data stream. The adaptor reads each line of the receipt and uses the sum of the total bill to insert a unique QR Code into the bill’s footer which customers scan to collect and redeem rewards set by Prestons.

  1. Paying for in-store purchases: PayPal recently unveiled a new ‘Payment Code Technology’ that allows customers to make in store payments using a QR code generated by an app on a customer’s smartphone Here’s how it works:.

  • When the customer is at the merchant’s location ready to be checked out, he opens the PayPal app on the smartphone.

  • The app prompts the customer with a QR code, or a 4 digit short code.

  • The merchant either scans the QR code or the customer enters the 4 digit number into existing card swiping terminal, to complete the purchase.

  1. Shop through smartphone: Another company that claims to create QR code magic is Ensygnia. Their Onescan app which is a SaaS platform, allows users to make payments by scanning a QR code with a mobile application. Bank details need to be provided only once and not every time a transaction is made through credit or debit cards. Additionally, there is no need for user names and passwords to process a payment.

  1. Customer Loyalty Rewards:Front Flip a Kansas based company uses QR codes to reward loyal customers.Front Flip’s clients (mostly restaurants) offer their customers a unique QR code. Front Flip’s QR codes can be found on a restaurant’s table and on the back of the receipts. Customers enter their personal details through the Front Flip app to access the code. Customers scan the code through a Front Flip app on a smartphone to receive a digital scratch card. Prize or promotion details are revealed and the users can share their prize details with their friends on Facebook and Twitter. Another example is that of Andreessen Horowitz backed Belly which seeks to reinvent customer loyalty rewards through gamification and digital check-ins. To check in, customers can scan the belly card (QR code) or use belly smartphone app at an in-store iPad POS and with each check-in they accumulate reward points that can later be redeemed for unique rewards tailored specifically for the business in question.

  1. Withdraw Cash through ATM: Another feature of QR codes is being implemented by financial services giant FIS – allowing users to withdraw cash from an ATM with their smartphones by scanning a QR code on the ATM screen.

  1. Processing Payments: Paydiant’s mobile payment technology lets their clients scan a barcode with the phone’s camera to process payment. Their technology supports QR codes and existing cell phone cameras and merchants do not need to upgrade any equipment to use Paydiant.

LTP View: QR codes are gaining wide acceptance, especially in USA. Thanks to companies who plan to integrate marketing, loyalty and payments. Usage of QR codes across the commerce processes is a good sign.

Ease of use could also be one of the drivers which is helping gain QR codes wide acceptance. Availability on most of the mobile devices is another great advantage. Looking at the statistics, the adoption rate of QR codes for payments in USA seems to be faster than other enabling tech, with an average of 19% of the respondents (1 out of 5) having scanned a QR code, according to eMarket survey.