The QR code is an upgraded version of the barcode, and it was developed by Denso Wave, a Japanese company, in the mid-90s. Its main advantage over barcodes is that it can store extra information. A bar code stores information in the thickness of the bars and the white spaces between them. Since there is only so much space available on the product, bar codes cannot store a lot of information. QR codes on the other hand also have the added element of height, besides width. This allows for more information to be stored in a more structured way. QR codes can also store information in any direction, while barcodes can only store it from left to right.
How do QR codes work?
The data registered on QR codes is stored in a pattern of black and white squares, which have a handful of reference points throughout. These reference points allows the QR code to be scanned at a variety of angles, instead of just from the front. Compared to bar codes, which can only store numbers, QR codes can store more complex data such as text, symbols and Kanji characters among others.
QR codes and merchant accounts
QR codes can be linked to merchant accounts (the same accounts which allow you to accept credit card payments), and there are two ways to receive payments using them: one is based on customer scans, and the other on vendor scans. With customer scans, the vendor has a designated code that redirects the user to a website where the customer can enter their payment information.
A second option is initiated by the customer through the vendor’s interface, which can be a website or an app. The customer selects a product or a series of products, pays for them, and a QR code is generated which can be displayed on the customer’s mobile device. The customer then presents the QR code in person at the store and collects his purchase. This method is especially common for things, which, by their nature, must be collected in person, such as theatrical performances or restaurant reservations.
QR code systems
Some countries, such as Singapore, use more than one QR code system. Upon their arrival in Singapore, QR payment companies such as NETS, Singtel Dash and UnionPay launched individual code systems in order to accelerate the rollout of QR payments. However, Singapore is currently working on a standard QR system called SG QR, which is meant to incorporate all current and future payment systems. The government did not block QR payment companies from implementing their own systems until the SG QR was launched, because it stood to gain from attracting QR companies and allowing them to permeate the market.
For more information on QR payments or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.