In this blog, we explain how the QR Code is becoming, not only one of the fastest ways to transact, but also the quickest way to onboard merchants.

The rapid adoption of smartphones is seeing mobile payments steadily replacing cash and cards for a number of reasons, specifically in developing markets. Keep in mind however that QR code payments are only one piece of the puzzle in contactless payments and should be considered as part of your wider mobile money payments strategy.

In China, for instance, mobile payment figures are hitting the roof due to its convenience, availability and security. In Somaliland, the massive shift away from cash is mainly due to the rapid devaluing of the local currency, requiring locals to carry large quantities of cash around market places for everyday purchases. Mobile payments offer an easier, faster, more convenient and secure way for these locals to shop.

QR codes – a greater appeal for consumers

While there are a number of mobile payment options, QR codes offer a smoother and faster way for customers to transact.

QR codes can be a quick way to skip the step where a payer has to enter the payee’s account details into the mobile device. By just scanning a merchant’s unique QR code (whether printed or digital), a customer automatically captures information regarding the merchant’s till number or bank account. This scanning makes payments quicker and more accessible.

In developing countries, high illiteracy rates, simplicity and functionality have seen the technology flourish.

Fastest way to onboard merchants

For merchants, the QR code is the quickest and most efficient way to tap into digital payments especially in developing markets where smartphone adoption is high, and bankability is low. In these markets, QR is the obvious choice since it is quick to market and is a low-cost option when considering the costs of installing and renting point of sale terminals. For some smaller merchants, these costs can prove to be unreasonable. Whereas implementing a merchant QR Code solution takes merely one sticker on a merchant countertop and a smartphone and it can be implemented in minutes.

Through QR payments, merchants are given the opportunity to tap into a market that wasn’t easily accessible. Data obtained through these QR code transactions can help merchants better understand their business operations and customer needs at the touch of a button. This data will not only help improve business efficiency and cost effectiveness, it can also win new customers through greater customer satisfaction.

For instance, the billing process can be used by the merchant to provide their customers with up to date, relevant information or messages around services, products and promotions. By personalising the billing process, QR codes create further opportunities to interact with the customer.

QR code transactions can also improve a unbanked merchant’s financial standing and may help fast track loan applications. This is because the operator can record and track the transaction history of the business/individual via their mobile money transactions.

A digital business tool not to be ignored

QR code payments have become a meaningful business tool, providing the game-changing potential to convert your cash-based merchants and their customers. To be clear, QR codes should be a part of your mobile payments solution, not your entire mobile payments solution. It is a method of payment, but not the only method and should be considered complementary to the other payment methods you provide.

As merchants and their customers become more tech savvy, they will be searching for faster and more convenient ways to make payments with their mobiles. With so much interest in the mobile money market, now is the time for you as a Mobile Network Operator or Financial Institution executive, to win new customers through the adoption of innovations in mobile payments, mobile marketing and mobile banking. This will deepen your customer relationships and ensure your participation in a fast-changing sector.

Find out how QR codes can help drive revenue for your organisation.