17 May 2022
Australian Payments Network (AusPayNet), the payments industry self-regulatory body, has published guidelines for Quick Response (QR) codes as a payment method.
The guidelines will be voluntary for financial institutions, payment service providers, merchants and other payments industry participants and are designed to encourage consistency in how QR codes are used.
AusPayNet’s guidelines for QR-code payments follow widespread public use of QR codes in Australia to support contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic and rapid growth in the use of QR codes in payments overseas, particularly in Asia. A whitepaper from Juniper Research, QR Code Payments: Beyond China and India, predicted that the total number of QR code payment users globally will exceed 2.2 billion in 2025, equivalent to approximately 29% of all mobile phone users.
The growing popularity of QR codes for payment transactions is attributed to their ready adoption by consumers using a smartphone and the fact that QR code payments do not require specific hardware or acceptance devices, reducing barriers for merchants.
QR codes also allow richer data to be encoded in a payment transaction, making them useful when transactions are linked to loyalty, identity and reconciliation applications.
AusPayNet CEO, Andy White, said QR codes were fast-emerging as another option for merchants to offer a quick, efficient method of digital payment to consumers.
“Our payments industry landscape continues to evolve rapidly and it is important that in response, industry participants are able to adapt and be flexible in offering consumers a range of payment methods,” Mr White said. “It is also important that consumers and merchants know when they use a QR code that it will work the same way, every time,” he added.
“Australians became familiar with and comfortable using QR codes during the pandemic and it is likely they will become more commonly used in payments. AusPayNet’s guidelines will be a useful reference tool as they do so,” Mr White said.
AusPayNet’s QR code payment guidelines are set out in two separate documents. These outline an EMVCo Merchant-Presented Mode (MPM) QR Code Standard and a Short QR Code Standard.
The guidelines can be accessed on AusPayNet’s website.