QR codes…. We’ve observed them being implemented in our day-to-day lives, yet not too long ago, these QR codes were mostly seen as a shortcut to access a webpage or a restaurant's menu. Now we’ve all heard of Asian countries where QR codes have been dominant in the payments landscape, but not until recently, western countries have started to leverage their widespread payment capabilities.
Global transaction values are expected to reach a whopping $2.5 trillion this year, from just $1.7 trillion in 2020. With Paypal’s announcement to bring QR code payments to Germany, it is clear that the US giant is eager to leap the fruits of this lucrative market.
With the PayPal solution, a QR code is scanned at the checkout on the user's smartphone, which then approves the payment in the app. Paypal argues that the largest advantage to consumers is that they are not required to physically enter a pin after exceeding their purchasing limit.
While QR code payments are rather alienated across Europe, this technology has enabled China for instance to leapfrog over cards, with the QR code itself now operating as the go-to payment method. But in all fairness, the rising popularity of QR codes is not so surprising when you consider the relatively low merchant fees and entry barriers in contrast to NFC payments. If you are interested in a more in depth comparison between NFC vs QR codes payments, check out one of our previous episodes.
Well, a recent survey revealed that 90% of respondents have used a QR code in the last month. 69% were also open to using QR codes for future payments, which suggests that QR code payments are on the brink of breaking into the mainstream post-pandemic.
All signs indicate that the European story will be fundamentally different to the Chinese one, in that it will complement card payments rather than replacing it.
Ambitious startups have set out to cash in on the quick response to QR, and increased consumer familiarity with the technology has not gone unnoticed by investors. The most notable investment in QR codes was secured by Sunday, the QR code payment system to speed up restaurant checkouts, marking it as one of the largest seed funding rounds in Europe
Orderli, the Amsterdam QR-based restaurant ordering platform, is taking part in the Y Combinator batch — further signifying that QR can add significant value to the hospitality sector in Europe.
In the end, Europe has grown accustomed to contactless cards and mobile banking, which essentially perform the same functions as QR codes.
In our view, any mode of payment aiming to disrupt contactless must offer a significant and distinct benefit. So, while QR codes play a decent role in the payments space across different verticals, it is likely to mainly flourish in the hospitality sector.
Do you think that there is potential for QR payments to blow up outside of the hospitality vertical as well?
On October 4th, 2021, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp disappeared from the Internet for 6 hours. A terrible day for Mark Zuckerburg for sure. But not just for him, when these apps, used by billions of people worldwide went out, businesses were cut off from customers . Not only did this outage reveal how much the world relies on the social media giant, but also the vulnerability of such giant techs. So, how did we get here and more interestingly, will facebook’s fintech ambitions sustain heavy damage?
Money laundering is a wrecker for the global economy… The United Nations estimated that laundered money in one year makes up to 5% of global GDP. That's approximately $2 trillion laundered annually. In the Netherlands alone, it is estimated that an astonishing 16 billion euros are laundered every year. This money is connected to drug trade and human trafficking, which is a serious, complex social problem.
We’re sure you have heard about the likes of; Afterpay, Klarna, Alma, Clearpay, and many more because they seem to be everywhere when you are shopping online, or browsing FinTech news. But payments powerhouse Mastercard has kicked off its fightback against the competing buy now, pay later providers, with the launch of “Installments”. This article addresses the biggest issue with Mastercard’s newest program and its role in the company’s open banking strategy