The Future of Mobile Payment Systems

Since the first evolution of business, the world has seen payment methods change in more ways than one.

From barter trade to cash and checks to credit and debit cards to contactless payment options such as QR code POS, EMV cards, NFC (Near Field Communication), mobile and UPI-based payments, among others.

In the past, and especially after the Coronavirus outbreak, QR codes have evolved so much. They are now one of the most popular mobile payment modes globally.

By the look of things, we can expect this trend to continue well into the future.

What is a QR Code Payment?

QR means Quick Response in full. QR codes are like barcodes; they both store data and are black. The difference between them is that QR codes store more data than their counterpart. For example:  

  • They are encrypted
  • They store payment confirmations, URLs, geolocation data, words, and paragraphs.
  • They are readable even when damaged
  • They allow scanning from digital screens

A QR code POS system uses a scanner or camera and the relevant app to process transactions. The payment option can support customer scanning using a mobile device, POS scanning, and app-to-app payments.

QR Code Payments Trends

As stated above, the use of android POS machine has increased significantly in the recent past. That resulted from the rapid spread in smartphones between 2014 and 2018 from 10% to 36%. During this time, there was also an increase in the access to high-mobile internet from 48.8% to 61.2%.

That’s not all. The number of internet users has also increased by 7.3% between Jan 2020 and Jan 2021. These are the factors that have led to the great acceptance of the QR code POS payments. If you look around, you will realise that they are everywhere, from the walls to product packaging.

QR Code Payments in India, China, and Globally

WeChat is, by and large, used in China and is the reason for the surge in the credit card terminal in the country. Using this option, the Chinese can: 

  • Scan QR codes on an android POS machine to make payments
  • Authenticate themselves
  • Get information
  • Avail offers and so much more

According to a report by CNN Tech, there was a total of USD 1.65 Trillion in QR code transactions in China in 2016.

In India, QR code transactions have been on the rise too since 2016. Pine Labs is one of the leading payment solutions and had 6M merchants in early 2018. The company is expected to reach 10M by mid-2018.

According to a report by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Visa Inc and GfK, 4% of all transactions globally are via QR codes.

Due to the increased awareness in QR code payments we see today, customers now can interact with android POS machine for other reasons, like avail an offer, get information and register for events, etc.

For instance, street artists can now use QR codes to get more tips. Today, most street artists incorporate QR codes in their graffiti or any other artwork linking to their cryptocurrency wallet.

In fact, expectations are that the contactless payment market will reach $4.68 by 2027. That translates to a 19.8% CAGR between 2020 and 2027. In 2020, during the first quarter alone, the market for WeChat QR codes rose by 25.86% despite the hard-hitting macroenvironment, as per Tencent’s report.

These statistics prove that QR code scanner has not just become so widespread but also rapidly growing. People are now embracing QR codes more than ever before, thanks to smartphone penetration, high-speed internet, and of course, the pandemic.

Role of the pandemic

The pandemic has even stimulated the future of digital payments in Asia. Reports show that there is an 80/20 growth in these payments. That’s a 20% increase for the digital user base with 80% recording in the climax of COVID-19. Expectations are that this will continue for the long term, even after the pandemic.

It is not just in Asia; Europe and UK are also embracing QR codes than ever before. Mobileiron report indicates that 86.66% of smartphone users scan QR codes at least once in their lifetime. 36.40% will do it at least once every week.

Additionally, 46.81% of the people interviewed agree that life is so much easier in a contactless world with QR codes. And to top it up, 38.99% of the interviewees would want to see more of the QR codes in the future.


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