Visa QR Codes?… A Blast from the Past?

Visa QR Codes… A Blast from the Past?

Visa announced this week, that they’re working on releasing new payment technology. While Visa QR Codes are now available in certain parts of the world, it’s not in the US.  QR codes are a 2 dimensional barcode. Think 2002, when you used to see square barcodes that would take you to a webpage. Visa is going to harness these codes to make a more secure mobile transaction.

Visa QR Codes? How do they work?

It’s simple enough. Have you ever used an e-ticket at the movies? You pull up a QR code, and the kid at the checkout scans it? That’s the jist of it. But this QR code links to your bank or credit card account. Making mobile payments a breeze.

How does that differ from Apple Pay or other mobile wallets?

There’s 2 big differences. The first is that you don’t have to go through Apple or Google, or Samsung to use it. It’s Visa’s way of getting those company’s out of their pocket. The hardware to read a QR code is likely something you already have too. Unlike with the mobile wallet NFC readers. So installation will be cheaper.
It’s also going to be as secure as an EMV card. This method of payment is a joint operation between the EMVco people, and Visa. So it’s meant to be quite secure. The idea being that the QR changes each time you use it, so it can’t be duplicated.

When will the US see QR Codes for Payments?

That’s unsure for the moment. It would be hasty to release this technology. Current trends suggest the industry is moving toward an NFC/Contactless technology.  Check out my blogs on the subject here. So barcode scanners are a little stone-aged in comparison. But, barcodes are a lot less expensive to develop. The cost to produce cards with chip technology has already cost the banks a lot of money. A standard magnetic card is MUCH less expensive.
It’s not that crazy to think developing an app for your phone would be cheaper.
If you’d like to learn more, Visa has quite a bit of information about it here.