Member Exclusive, Payments

Contactless pay is here to stay: What about QR codes?

  • The use of QR codes is slowly growing in the US.
  • Their increased popularity may stick around even after the pandemic.
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Contactless pay is here to stay: What about QR codes?

Covid-19 has transformed consumer behavior. Cash is less common, cards are less shiny, and contactless pay is catching on.

Since March 2019, the use of contactless pay in the US has increased by 150%, according to research by Visa. Amid this increase, QR codes are seeing a lift, too.

Since the spread of Covid, QR codes have seen an 11% boost in new US users, according to Mercator’s 2020 survey.

This payment method was originally invented in Japan in the 90s to serve the automotive industry. It has spread since then. Nowadays, people scan QR codes to get information, visit a website, and make payments.

QR codes were popular before the pandemic as well, but mainly outside the US. In Asia, for example, 46% of e-commerce transactions in the region are done through digital wallets.

In the US, though, QR code usage has been historically low and slow in adoption. While the option to use them has been around for a while, people just haven’t shown much interest until now.


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