Qfuse Blog - QR Code, NFC, and Mobile Marketing News

The Future of QR Codes

Posted on July 29th, 2018 by

Depending on what you read, the future of QR codes seems to be a mixed bag. The thoughts on QR Codes are influenced by where in the world the QR codes are used as different countries have differing appetites for the technology.

As noted by PYMNTS.com, the QR code has gotten a lot of attention recently for use as a digital payment, though such attention has been – for now – limited outside of Asia. EMVCo, the global technical body that manages QR Code payment specifications, has introduced the QR Payment Mark, meant to “promote global interoperability across EMV QR Code payments.” The QR Payment Mark will inform consumers that a particular merchant uses a digital payments application. In India, QR Codes have seen great momentum as officials work to move toward a cash-free society. India has launched the BharatQR, a digital payments tool back by Visa, Mastercard, and the National Payments Corporation of India. It has also been reported that the most successful deployments of QR Code-based payments have occurred in China where QR Code transaction have surpassed cash and cards.

Innovation Enterprise, however, writes about how infrequently QR Codes are used, especially here in the States. They note that while most people “would be able to recognize one if they saw it . . . the number of people that have actually used them is small, with even fewer using them with any regularity.”

Our thoughts? The applications of QR Codes can certainly be recognized by many, and the uses and utility are continuing to grow, develop, and emerge. Some argue that the QR Code hasn’t stood out to marketing teams as a ‘must’ in a singular-use case, but the reality is that QR Codes should be part of a marketing plan when there is a clear benefit to connecting online and offline media, and when your target audiences will likely understand how to interact with them (e.g. are you marketing to millennials or senior citizens).

A number of years ago at the dawn of the smartphone era many marketers tried and failed to use QR codes in marketing campaigns. In many cases, these were poorly implemented efforts with common mistakes that doomed their efforts to failure.

As more and more marketing initiatives find success – such as SnapChat’s Snapcodes or Starbucks having customers scan codes from cups – businesses and brands will see more of the upside. QR Codes now are providing a one-way transaction, in directing users to information or content, but they are not – yet – collecting information. In an age where marketing is driven by ton of data, this will be the next big piece of the puzzle for QR Codes to explore and develop.

An area where QR codes are appear to be gaining momentum, but that are less publicly visible, are in areas related to industrial use and logistics, such as information access and inventory control. It may not be sexy, but it’s practical and can carry significant benefits to organizations that want to improve efficiency in their operations by merging cloud-based data with their real-world products and processes. Ultimately, regardless of how or where QR codes are being used, their utility ultimately depends on thoughtful implementation. Following established QR Code best practices will improve the chances that they are utilized as intended, while also providing an optimal experience for your users.

 

 

Cited:
pymnts.com/digital-payments/2018/qr-code-payments-expansion/
channels.theinnovationenterprise.com/articles/what-is-the-future-of-qr-codes

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QR Code Facts: (Almost) Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About QR Codes

Posted on July 23rd, 2018 by

  • There are two types of QR Codes: Static QR Code and Dynamic QR Code.
    • Static QR Codes→ What are they?
      • Static QR Code encodes info after it is generated
      • Once the code set it cannot be changed
    •  Dynamic QR Codes→ What are they?
      • Unlike Static QR Codes, Dynamic QR Codes are changeable. You make edit and change the Code whenever you would like
  • Where did QR originate?
    • Denso Wave, a Japanese company, created the QR code in 1994
  • What was the original purpose of the QR Code?
    • Denso Wave was a company in the automotive industry and the original purpose of the QR code was to track vehicles during manufacturing
  • QR Codes are used for
    • Transport Ticketing
    • Marketing
    • Entertainment
    • and More!
  • QR codes are literally everywhere these days!
    • Grocery stores, book stores, malls, MLB games, the snack bar at the beach… you name it, there’s a great change a QR Code is associated with it!
  • QR Code Random Notes:
    • QR Code represent data in four modes like- Numeric, Alphanumeric, Byte and Kanji
    • You can scan a QR Code from any direction for 360 degrees
    • QR Codes can hold a hundred times more information than a barcode.
    • Audi created the largest QR Code which was of 159 square meters.
    • QR Codes don’t have to simply be black and white! They can be in different colors like red or green.
    • Print media accounts for only 1% of all scanned QR codes.
    • A QR Code can be decoded even after up to 30% of damage
    • Over one-fourth of all scanned QR codes were scanned by 35-44 year old consumers.
    • QR codes can be password protected to prevent unwanted people from using your QR code
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Artist Turns to Bitcoin QR Codes

Posted on June 28th, 2018 by

A street artist in Paris has developed a strategy to eradicate the “staving artist” persona. Pascal Boyart is a mural painter who is incorporating bitcoin QR codes in his artwork allowing him to leverage cryptocurrency and receive donations from members of the public who enjoy his work.

Absolutely brilliant.

According to some sources, the trend has caught on and driven a large volume of attention to Pascal, and people have been making contributions up to $1,000 in bitcoin. By including QR codes in his paintings and asking for donations, Boyart secured notoriety when one of his works – a mural painting of Rembrandt, the famous Dutch painter – began trending on the Bitcoin subreddit. Discussion on the forum noted that the mural was well done and that including the bitcoin QR code idea was innovative…and we cannot agree more.

New crowdfunding services like Patreon and Ulule are enabling artists like Boyart to be more fiscally independent, but for many reasons, those platforms do not do enough. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have created a new viable option to help make cash-strapped artists make ends meet without leaving their fiscal stability in the hands of dealers or corporations looking to secure profits. Turning to the accessibility of QR Codes further helped to make this dream of Pascal’s into a reality. Paying with a bank mobile app using a QR code is the fastest and most convenient payment method available and, just as he mixed his paint colors, Pascal was able to blend QR Code payments and the hot commodity of Bitcoin to find success.

 

Cited:
http://bitcoinist.com/street-artistincorporating-bitcoin-qr-code-artwork/https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2018/05/08/street-art-cryptocurrency-bitcoin-qr/https://btcmanager.com/street-artist-makes-0-11-btc-by-incorporating-bitcoin-qr-code-in-artwork/
Image via: Reddit
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Near Field Communications Technology – Connecting Everything Around Us

Posted on May 16th, 2018 by

Near field communications technology (NFC) is short-range wireless connectivity technology. Its in nearly every smartphone today and makes it easy and convenient to conduct transactions, exchange content, and link electronic devices. NFC enables technology in close proximity to communicate without the need for an internet connection. The technology is currently used in applications like Android Pay and Apple Pay, and has been adopted in some cities for transit use – just tap your transit card to a reader and go. Note that while NFC isn’t yet integrated into iPhone in a way that will work seamlessly for most users (outside of  this Apple Pay functionality), we impatiently await until it’s built right in (much like with Android devices).

In the future, it is possible that NFC use might replace the cards – credit and loyalty cards alike – in our wallets. Despite the success of NFC so far, there are still other applications of the technology.

For example, passive NFC “tags” are being put into posters and information kiosks to provide people more information, similar to how QR codes provide information by opening a website on the scanner’s phone. Google’s Daydream View VR headset uses the technology. Placing your smartphone into the headset triggers nearby tags to automatically download or launch the app.

An interesting possibility for NFC is the potential to revitalize brick-and-mortar retail stores. According to NextWeb, 90 percent of smartphone owners use their devices while in stores. “[B]rick-and-mortar stores are increasingly experimenting with omnichannel strategies that connect the dots between digital and physical experiences. They’re trying to meet consumers where they’re at, on their smartphones or on-the-go. And brands are increasingly coming up with creative ways to design memorable experiences to attract demographics like millennials within brick-and-mortar spaces.” Retail store, grocery stores, sporting goods stores – any store carrying consumer goods can see those goods become “smart” with the help of NFC tags.

Now, if you’re like us, you may have thought about security, especially because NFC occurs in the open air without the need of a protected internet connection. It might be of some comfort to consider that NFC chips can only be skimmed if someone puts a device within centimeters of your smartphone. However, apps like Apple Pay and Android Pay have developed security features to protect your information.

As TechRadar points out, “[t]he list of compatible devices is staggering and growing with time. It’s safe to say, if you’ve purchased a smartphone [or tablet] in the last few years, you should be ready to go.”

For more on NFC tags, click HERE or check out the sites below and do not hesitate to contact the team at QFuse with any questions, comments, or concerns!

https://www.techradar.com/news/what-is-nfc
https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2018/04/07/nfc-underdog-tech-set-explode-next-five-years/

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QR Codes - Growth in Use Across Industries

Posted on April 23rd, 2018 by

Without question, we use today’s mobile devices to access information faster – and more conveniently – than ever before. With over 2 billion of the earth’s population using smartphones (a 2016 number, no doubt we’re above that mark here in 2018), consumers can access apps and programs on their devices in any number of ways and, with that, industries of all kinds have worked to find the best and easiest ways to connect with these individuals. QR Codes – in their rebirth – have started to regain popularity in allowing marketers and advertisers an opportunity to build mobile relationships with customers of past, present, and future.

Real estate agents and brokers were early to adapt QR Codes – they placed them on physical ‘For Sale’ signs and included them on their pamphlets and informational materials. This is a practice that is regaining momentum, both popular and effective as would-be homebuyers are able to quickly and easily access property information right from their QR Code reader built into their smartphones. With a simple scan, the real estate business and the buyer (or seller) can swiftly get the answers to the questions they may have.

The food and beverage industry is one that will continue to see the use of QR Codes. Placement on product packaging can offer a wealth of information – be it a promotional video, nutritional information, a description how the product was made, or even a redirect to recipes that feature their product. Added bonus: companies can provide coupons and other promotions to consumers who scan the QR Code.

The entertainment industry has found a major play in the use of QR Codes. At larger theme parks, such as Disney, QR Codes printed on pamphlets and signage allow guests to conveniently access information about the park right from their smartphones. At museums, visitors can get information by scanning for more details about the exhibits – standing in front of a painting that caught their eye visitors can view presentations, videos, and interactive segments, so they can become even more knowledgeable on the piece.

The tourism industry will also be using more and more mobile engagement tools on their marketing materials. QR Codes can bring guests of the hotel they are staying in to a webpage displaying attractions, restaurants, and activities in and around the surrounding area of the hotel. The QR Code is really all you need in that situation – no more meeting with the concierge to ask your questions or hiring a tour guide to provide information that is easily accessible on your mobile device!

In these and many other arenas, QR codes continue to become a bigger part of not only marketing and advertising, but for connecting with the end consumer. With any questions, we invite you to contact QFuse to inquire about the technology as well as for ways to integrate QR Code engagement into your marketing strategy.

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