QR Code Use Expanding with New Global Specification

In another sign that QR code payments are gaining ground globally, EMVCo has released its first QR code specification.

China’s payment network UnionPay, a member of EMVCo, led the working group that developed the specification, the company said in a press release, calling it “the first globally interoperable technical solution for QR code payment.”

UnionPay is looking to drive expansion of the code more widely beyond mainland China, the company said. It called QR codes China’s “payment standard.”

The codes’ use has led to tremendous growth in mobile payments in that country. A recent story in the New York Times affirms how much the codes have become a part of life in just a few short years.

“[UnionPay] will promote more partners to adopt the safer and internationally interoperable UnionPay standard in the acceptance and issuance of QR code payment,” the company said.

In May, UnionPay worked with Visa and Mastercard to jointly introduce a standardized QR code in Thailand.

Mastercard made its own announcement about the new EMVCo standard, saying that it plans to expand its QR-based solutions under the specification.

“Today’s news builds on the momentum of our QR work in India and Africa,” Ajay Bhalla, president of global enterprise risk and security, Mastercard, said. “We look forward to the adoption of the EMVCo global QR standards. In the meantime, we’ll continue to work with our customers and partners to make every device a secure way to pay and be paid.”

While QR codes languished in the U.S., they’ve seen a resurgence in other countries as an easy-to-implement payment method. They represent an opportunity for payment facilitators, as their low relative cost, as compared to a traditional POS system, has proven more appealing to many small and micro merchants.

In other QR code news, according to Finextra, Singapore’s OCBC Bank is expanding the QR code capabilities it included in its newly released mobile app earlier this year, now allowing users to make code-to-code payments.

“PayNow-registered customers, through the OCBC Pay Anyone mobile app, can now create and send personalised QR codes to other OCBC Pay Anyone users via social networking apps or email when requesting payment. Alternatively, the payer can instantly scan a QR code displayed on the payee’s phone to complete payment,” the article said.

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