Of the many payment innovations to surface in the past 20 years, the QR code is enjoying a resurgence, having once been viewed as a failed marketing gimmick that became outdated before its time.
A decade ago, QR codes were largely found on direct mailouts, billboards, in-store shopping displays, and other printed materials. It was a technology in search of a digital use case, and smartphone penetration that was yet to be realised.
But as the Digital & Card Payment Yearbooks show, the arrival of the Covid-109 pandemic has given the QR code a new lease of life, as banks, merchants and consumers scrambled to find contact-free alternatives to cash. In 2020, their usage jumped by 35% worldwide.
The flexibility of the QR code lends itself to various purposes outside of straightforward payment transactions.
They can be used for contactless deliveries, pickups, as loyalty and discount vouchers, bill payments, and increasingly, cash withdrawals from ATMs.
During 2020, several banks across Europe and Eurasia overhauled their ATM estates to allow customers to make Covid-secure and contact-free cash withdrawals by scanning a QR code on-screen with their mobile apps.
Banks in Turkey are enthusiastic proponents of deploying QR codes at ATMs, helping banks to increase the proportion of contactless payments overall.
For example, Yapi Kredi reported that in 2020, the ratio of money withdrawal and depositing with QR codes increased by 60% on average, whereas the ratio of money withdrawal with QR approached 30% of all withdrawals.
This resurgence in QR code usage is now spurring banks and FinTechs to look at how it can be adapted to even more interactive transactional touchpoints, as the lingering effects of the pandemic galvanise payment players to strengthen their contactless product and service offerings.
2021 looks set to be the year when QR codes captured public imagination.
The Digital & Card Payment Yearbooks give a market leading and comprehensive, up-to-date picture of Digital and Card payment services including digital and card issuing, acquiring and processing business within 43 countries plus pan European and Eurasian overviews and more…
The reports are recognised through the payments industry as the most authoritative source for the Digital and Card payments business on the European and Eurasian payment markets.
The report comprises of 2 volumes – Volume 1 covers payments statistics of the 33 European countries and Volume 2 contains the Eurasian payments statistics on 10 countries. The European Payment Cards Yearbook 2020-21 and the Eurasian Payment Cards Yearbook 2020–21 are available to purchase as complete volumes or as individual country profiles.
For further information, please contact us, e.g.
- Table of Contents highlighting key areas of research
- Sample profile outlining detail in the cards and payments section