Published on the 04/03/2021 | Written by Heather Wright
Covid check-ins give QR shot in arm…
QR codes have become familiar at the doors to retailers and other premises – now they’re about to hit eftpos payments both instore and online.
Eftpos is hoping to capitalise on Australians increased familiarity with QR codes, courtesy of Covid-19 check-ins, to drive adoption of its planned QR code payment network.
The payment provider will being trialling the network, which it says will be ‘low cost’ for retailers, by mid-year. National rollout is expected to be completed in 2022.
“The QR code payments network will enable local home-grown innovation.”
Customers will scan a QR code generated by the retailer to pay for items using their preferred digital wallet. As well as being means of payment, the offering can link to loyalty programs and special offers, and issue digital receipts.
Eftpos says the solution will work ‘by generating unique QR codes containing transaction details that are captured on a consumer’s mobile phone, initiating a secure digital wallet payment that is seamlessly integrated with the merchant’s loyalty service provider’.
Stephen Benton, eftpos CEO, says the QR payment will be faster and secure, while providing ‘deeper customer engagement’ for eftpos members.
“Initiating secure purchase transactions using a consumers’ preferred digital wallet unlocks a wealth of extra benefits that will transform the way Australians choose to pay,” Benton says.
He says the technology allows merchants to grow their digital sales with low cost QR acceptance using enriched data and integrated customer loyalty services.
“The QR code payments network will enable local home-grown innovation by connecting numerous APIs, consumer digital wallets, and supporting technologies on top of the existing eftpos network rails, providing choice and potential cost savings for local businesses,” Benton says.
Eftpos has previously noted that QR codes are a good tool to bridge people, products and services in many ways, not just payments, due to the open standard, simplicity, capability of carrying different types of information and low implementation costs both on issuing and acceptance sides.
Both Paypal and instant payment app BeemIt, which eftpos purchased late last year, are already using QR codes. Individual retailers, too, have played with QR payments. Starbucks has been highly successful with its QR-based wallet app for in-store and online pre-ordering. It is, however, a closed single-retailer offering.
In China, where Alipay and WeChat Pay reign supreme, QR payments have surpassed cash and cards for both in-store transaction volumes and value for several years. So successful is QR payment in the country, where QR codes are everywhere, that even street musicians use them to collect cash.
In Australia, however, while use of contactless payments is high, use of digital wallets – required for the QR code payments – is not. Roy Morgan’s Digital Payments Report showed just 10.8 percent of Australians were using non-bank contactless mobile payment services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay last year. That is, however, a sharp jump from previous years, where just 7.1 percent used the technologies. (Apple Pay led the way, used by 6.5 percent, with Google Pay used by 4.1 percent and Samsung Pay languishing on one percent.)
For eftpos, the QR code payment network is one of five key areas the company is focused on, alongside mobile wallets, digital identity, ecom and API and fintech access, as part of its digital strategy.
The company has also just launched a new real-time deposit and withdrawal messaging capability through the Beem IT mobile wallet, in a move it says aims to boost productivity for Australian businesses.
Benton says the new capability could significantly enhance productivity for many businesses by replacing manual processes with real time transfer of funds between parties, while also providing enhanced transparency and controls.
The message set could also be used for a range of peer-to-peer or business to consumer use cases such as insurance payouts, government disbursements, rebates or instant payroll.
Eftpos did not respond to requests for additional information.