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Pandemic drives global use of QR codes for payments as shoppers go contactless

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PayPal: an early proponent of QR payments
PayPal: an early proponent of QR payments
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Far from being old hat, QR codes are driving a global contactless payment revolution – with the US leading the way

As many as 1.5 billion people worldwide used QR codes to pay in 2020 as the pandemic drives contactless payments. By 2025, as many as 30% of all mobile users will be using QRs to pay.

 

So finds a study by Juniper Research, which predicts that much of this growth will be within emerging markets, where weak card infrastructure creates a strong opportunity.

 

However, the research also found that the US will see a strong growth of 240% in user numbers between 2020-2025, as QR code payments tap into the need for cashless payments stimulated by the pandemic.

 

The research identified PayPal’s roll-out of QR payments and its partnership with CVS as key drivers of the renaissance of QR payments within the US market.

 

The new research, QR Code Payments: Key Opportunities, Regional Analysis & Market Forecasts 2021-2025, identified that QR codes’ ability to combine payments and loyalty make them ideal for retailers seeking to leverage valuable transactional data. The low-cost nature of these solutions will enable the growth of QR code payments to reach over $2.7 trillion globally in 2025.

 

Research author Nick Maynard explains: “QR code payments have low acceptance costs versus contactless payments, meaning that they are highly competitive and appealing to retailers in emerging markets, which lack card infrastructure. However, the low costs mean that accepting QR codes alongside cards is also viable. Partnerships in developing markets will be critical to driving QR adoption.”

 

The research found that national QR code payment standards, such as SGQR in Singapore, will be major accelerators to the growth of QR code payments. By 2025, national QR code payment schemes will account for 22% of all QR code payments by volume, compared with just 8% in 2020.

 

The research recommends that national regulators make QR schemes a priority, to ensure widespread digital payments adoption and interoperability of payment methods.

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