QR codes have seen a huge increase in adoption in the last 2 years along with the adoption of UPI. In this post I explore the different payment methods, parallels with China and the different use-cases where QR will get huge adoption in the days to come. Come join me in peering into the future.
Let’s consider the different modes of payment and understand the convenience and cost for each payment mode to understand the popularity of QR codes.
Cash on delivery (COD) is a very popular mode of payment for ecommerce sites as it gives customers an option to pay later after receiving their product or services. It also helps sellers who don’t want to go through the hassle of collecting money from buyers before delivering their product. This leads to higher sales conversions for many e-commerce sites as they can now target a larger audience which includes people who are not comfortable paying online yet but would like to buy if they get a product delivered at their doorstep without paying any advance payment upfront.
The Bharat pay QR Code is the barcode that will be used for all the transactions. It is similar to a regular barcode that you would find on a product or packaging. The difference is that it has been specially developed for use in India with all its unique specifications.
The following are the different modes of payments –
- Swipe your Card on a POS/m-Pos machine
- Tap your card (if contact less) on a POS machine
- Use NFC enabled via GPay
- Use a QR code to pay
- Use a SmartPos on mobile
The opinion is divided on your favourite method of payment. And this gets further complicated between debit and credit. However from the table above one can see a clear difference in cost of the processor as a big hurdle for acceptance. As per RBI statistics last updated on Dec 20 and including only bank pos terminals, there are 5.74m machines in circulation with RBL leading the 1.76m machines. This does not include third party terminals. This number increased substantially due to demonetization with the number at only 1.1m in 2015. To give you perspective, there are 2.08m ATM machines in circulation. The RBI data similarly suggests that there are 3.2m Bharat QR deployed by the bank.
QR code as a connecting layer between the physical world and you.
If we think of QR codes as the connecting layer between the physical world and you, you come across several interesting use-cases. Add a mix of local and time and suddenly this set increases in a big way. Apps are great if one has to place an order from home or choose from a wide mix of services. However if one wants to interact with a local player — seller or bus service, QR codes win.
Consider this scenario: You are sitting at home and want to buy some fruits but don’t want to step out due to some reason. You open your phone, find the nearest fruit seller who is available and place an order using his/her QR code. The seller gets the notification on his/her phone (which is connected through bluetooth) about your request for buying a certain amount of fruit. He packs it in a bag and takes it to your location where scan pay with a QR code to confirm whether you have received the correct amount of fruits or not. Once confirmed, he gets paid by you through Paytm wallet instantly and moves on with his other tasks while you enjoy your fruits!
This is just one example which could be extended further: You could buy tickets for movies/plays; pay parking fees; get food delivered at home.