What are QR Code Payments? (Explained)


Pebl Team
May 6, 2024

QR codes, once an overlooked technology, have now claimed a central role in today's payment ecosystem.

Fuelled by the increased smartphone usage and the necessity for contactless transactions since the pandemic, QR codes offer a convenient, secure, and efficient payment option for businesses and customers alike.

It's predicted that 30% of smartphone users worldwide will use QR codes for payment transactions by 2025.

Furthermore, with their potential to integrate with loyalty programs and ease in accepting payments, QR codes provide significant benefits for businesses.

This article will explore the key aspects of QR code payments, their working mechanism, benefits, safety measures, and their incorporation in the business landscape.

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How do QR code payments work?

QR code payments are made by scanning a QR code, which is a type of barcode that stores information in pixelated form.

This information, once scanned by the customer’s smartphone, leads the user to a payment page where they can complete their transactions using various payment methods, including their bank details, credit card, or mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Primarily, a QR code payment system involves the following steps:

QR code creation: To get started, businesses need to generate a QR code using a mobile app or software that provides such services. Once made, this code can be displayed in a variety of ways that are easily accessible to customers, enabling easy scan-to-pay transactions, whether on a webpage, at a physical store checkout area, directly on a product or posters, pamphlets and clothing.

Initiation of payment: The customer uses their smartphone to scan the QR code. Most smartphones can now read a QR code directly from their camera app, though some QR codes may require a specific app to be used.

Completion of transaction: Upon scanning, the customer is directed to a payment page via a browser window or an app. Here, they enter their payment details or choose an applicable mobile payment solution to finalize the transaction.

Another way of making these payments is when a vendor scans a customer-generated QR code. This code contains the customer's card details provided by their bank or payment app, allowing the business to complete the transaction. However, this process requires the vendor to have the ability to use the same app or Point of Sale (POS) software that generated the code and a device or scanner capable of reading the QR codes.

By using QR code payments, businesses can offer their customers a simple, fast, and contactless method to make transactions, improving the overall customer experience.

What are the benefits of using QR codes for payments?

The utilisation of QR codes for payments carries an array of benefits for both businesses and their customers.

QR code payments are simple and affordable

Embracing QR code payments is straightforward and cost-efficient. As opposed to traditional point-of-sale systems or card readers, which incur significant expenses for equipment and may require time-consuming contractual procedures, setting up QR codes merely requires downloading an app. This simplicity enables businesses to swiftly implement this payment mode across multiple locations or online platforms.

QR codes provide easier transactions for the customer

Efficiency is paramount in customer service, and QR codes deliver exactly that. By allowing quick and hassle-free transactions, QR codes enhance customer satisfaction, subsequently leading to higher conversion rates and increased revenue.

QR codes allow the integration of payments with loyalty programs

QR codes can house an impressive amount of data, which allows businesses to combine payments and loyalty programs seamlessly. With no need for physical cards or receipts, customers can easily sign up, accumulate points, and manage their rewards directly from their smartphones, adding more appeal to the brand’s loyalty program.

Enhanced Security

QR codes offer a very secure method of payment as all payment details are encrypted. Unlike traditional payments where personal details could be potentially exposed, QR codes don't require storing customer information, making transactions secure and private. This feature can build trust and improve relationships with customers, thus fostering their long-term brand loyalty.

QR codes come with the benefits of contactless payments

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless transactions have gained much significance, and QR codes fit perfectly into this scenario. They facilitate a completely touch-free payment process, providing a safer and healthier transaction method.

In a nutshell, the diverse benefits of QR code payments make them a practical, reliable, and progressive option that is set to redefine the landscape of financial transactions in the coming years.

How to set up QR code payment for your business

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to get you started with QR code payments for your business.

1. Choose a QR code payment provider: Look for a trusted provider that suits your business needs. Some popular options include Pebl, Square, or even some banks. Consider costs, flexibility, ease of implementation, and the quality of customer support when deciding.

2. Create an account: Once you've picked a provider, you'll need to create a business account, providing necessary details like business name, contact information, and bank account information for transaction processing.

3. Generate your QR code: Using the provider's software or app, you can create a unique QR code for your business. Some providers such as Pebl offer customization options, allowing you to incorporate logos or specific colors to align with your business's branding with the codes being scanned per transaction or the same code scanned multiple times such as when creating donation QR codes.

4. Display your QR code: After generating your QR code, it needs to be displayed in high-visibility areas for customer access. For brick-and-mortar businesses, place them near the point-of-sale, printed on receipts, or even on packaging. For charities or events, place them around the event space, print them on menus or display them on screens. If you operate online, consider displaying the code on checkout pages, within transactional emails, or on digital invoices.

5. Train your staff: It's important that your team comprehends the QR code payment process to assist customers effectively. Providing necessary training sessions will ensure that your team is well-prepared to handle this new payment method.

6. Test and go live: Prior to officially launching the system, perform test transactions to make sure everything operates smoothly. After successful trials, your business is ready to accept QR code payments.

Remember that embracing a new payment method should be communicated to your customers. Consider marketing your new payment system through in-store signs, website updates, email broadcasts, or social media posts. This will not only educate your customers but also encourage their adoption of this convenient payment option.