Recently QR codes have started popping up at even roadside businesses. The smartphone penetration and more straightforward and cheaper data access all over India has led to an increase in online/virtual payment methods. According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s annual report for 2018-19, there were nearly 30.8 lakh Bharat QR codes deployed across India by the end of March 2019. Out of these, about 70% of them were used regularly.
QR code is shorthand for ‘Quick Response.’ The QR code was first used by a Japanese automobile company ‘Denso Wave.’ The products were marked and labeled by a QR code; this helped in efficient and reliable transport, sorting, and inventory soon after this QR code found use in other industries and the public sphere.
QR code is a 2-dimensional code made up of different combinations of black pixels over a white background. The number of QR code combinations depends on how comprehensive the code is or, technically, the number of pixels available. A standard QR code can have about 3.12 x 107111 combinations. To comprehend this number, there are an estimated 1080 atoms in the observable universe! That means, roughly, we can uniquely associate atoms of 88 observable universes to QR codes.
The QR codes were responsible for the rapid growth of online payment in China, as businesses can accept digital payments without paying pos billing machine prices. The QR code can also be used through a wireless POS machine. The consumer’s job also becomes smooth. The camera can scan QR code in android and iOs. Nowadays, numerous apps let the consumer scan the QR code. The smartphone can scan the printed QR code used for banking; they can also scan the QR codes for specific products to access a website directly.
Types of QR codes
There are two types of QR codes.
- Static QR code: Static QR codes are the ones that are uneditable and definite. They do not change with time. They are of great use at places where we use wireless POS machines and printing. However, as they are static, they cannot be edited after use, and they do not allow for metrics tracking, i.e., scan location, user information, etc.
- Dynamic QR code: Dynamic QR codes can be edited, not fixed, and updated to cater to the needs. They are of great use when information that needs to be transferred is dynamic, i.e., and the merchant can himself enter the amount to be paid by the customer instead of cross checking it every time. They can also be used to track user metrics. They are giving the merchant valuable information in addition to information transfer.
QR codes can also have different types classified based on the squares’ arrangement inside and their grid size.
Uses of QR code
QR codes can be used in various ways. The most common use is merchant retail. Users can scan QR code android and use the information to complete the payment through a few simple steps. The use of wireless POS machines becomes redundant, meanwhile decreasing the accuracy and speed of the transaction. A pos billing machine cost is enough deterrent for small merchants to avoid buying them. However, the use of QR code solves this problem.
QR codes can also be used for tickets. This applies to many different types of tickets, such as movie theatres, train/bus/airplane tickets, and toll tickets. A unique QR code is sent to the user, which can be used to verify whether the person has the ticket required to go to that place.
Lastly, QR codes are still used for their intended purpose of the invention. They are used to track the products’ manufacture, shipment, and sorting. To conclude, QR has become a versatile tool in our daily lives. The ease with which the QR code can be used is astonishing. Given the pandemic time when the transfer of physical objects becomes unwanted, QR code has enabled us to enjoy products without physically coming in contact with others.