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

QR Codes & Foodservice (Codes on Burger Buns!)

Posted on November 19th, 2018 by

Restaurants have been adding interactive technology to their tables allowing users to view the menu and order on a tablet – there are even games for kids. Some of these tablets allows diners to pay without waiting for a check to be delivered. Pretty convenient, right? It gets better. A Japanese restaurant in London has become one of the first in applying the QR code technology in the kitchen. ICHIBUNS has created the first burger bun branded QR code. The company has partnered with mobile-payment servicers, Zapper. The idea is supposed to allow customers to make easy, fast, and safe payments for the food by scanning the code on the bun with a smartphone. Diners can leave a tip and split the bill. Users need to download the app to pay which is made simple – all they need to do is scan the QR code on the bun.

To incentivize users, ICHIBUNS is offering customers £7 off their first bill and other exclusive rewards. Benjamin Goldkorn, CEO of ICHIBUNS, said: “Our goal with ICHIBUNS was to be a restaurant experience like no other, and our partnership with Zapper is a great way to achieve this, allowing us to be at the forefront of hospitality innovation by offering much more than just a payment service. Combining it with our own app also allows us to give something back to our amazing, loyal customers, with discounts and prizes available to win.” We think it is safe to say this would be an experience like no other. Our question was what if you’re starving and quickly bite into that juicy wagyu beef burger only to realize that part of the QR code is now missing? Fear not. Your QR code is also printed on the menu.

 

 

References:
foodserviceequipmentjournal.com/first-burger-bun-branded-qr-code-puts-a-new-stamp-on-kitchen-tech/
standard.co.uk/go/london/restaurants/you-can-pay-for-this-burger-with-the-qr-code-on-its-bun-a3927991.html (IMAGE CRED to this site).

 

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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 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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Mobile Pay is Booming in China (QR Codes Utilized as Payment Links)

Posted on February 10th, 2018 by

Some of the biggest news to come out of China recently is that cash is no longer king. In fact, cold hard dollars and cents are effectively dead there. The Chinese have taken massive steps to live in the financial future by using mobile pay almost exclusively. And, at the crux of mobile pay, is the QR Code – scan the code, pay for your purchase, get on with your day. China and its love affair with mobile pay can be analyzed in four major touch-points:

1. In 2016, mobile payment volume in China doubled to $5 trillion, according to Hillhouse Capital’s Analysis data.
2. In mainland China, both service providers and stores have become increasingly mobile-pay centered around apps such as Alipay and WeChat Pay. In fact, WeChat Pay cornered 40 percent of the mobile payment market, and Alipay took more at 54 percent during one quarter according to an extensive financial study. Alipay is owned by an affiliate of Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services, and it boasts 520 million users on its international website.
3. Mobile pay has grown so fast in mainland China that foreigners can find it quite difficult to go about completing even the most basic transaction without it.
4. Mobile transactions’ dominance in China could also lead to better data collection by their government.

QR Codes Vs. Cash

At one time, when shopping or eating out with local friends, the Chinese consumers would ask a merchant if they accepted credit cards, while now they ask if they accept WeChat Pay or Alipay. Then, they pay simply with the scan of a QR code right at the table or a customer shows a code to a store clerk on their Smartphones. In fact, the Chinese often joke that a beggar would prefer a mobile pay donation to cash.

Spreading to Other Countries

The mobile pay habit that has taken over China has started to trickle in to some other countries. More than six million people from China went traveling abroad last fall for their national holiday called “Golden Week.” That travel – plus China’s change to using mobile payments and QR codes – ended up putting a certain amount of pressure on places like Hong Kong and Japan to start adopting mobile payment services, since they are popular destinations for Chinese tourists. In fact, the total number of stores that accept mobile payments is expected to double to approximately 45,000 stores this year, according to a report from Nikkei.

Major Progress

So, as mobile pay has completely changed the daily commerce in China, an entire society that was once limited only to using bills that were less than 100 Yuan denominations has now become one where QR payment codes are the norm. Since there is very little red tape in China coupled with a financial system that is much less developed, the Chinese have actually managed to surpass most developed world in the practice of readily accepting mobile payments.

300 Trillion Yuan by 2021

According to CLSA, a research investment company in Hong Kong, the volume of Chinese electronic payments could quadruple by the year 2021 all the way up to 300 trillion Yuan. In addition, according to Research, mobile payments in China rose to $5.5 trillion in 2016. That’s approximately 50 times the size of the $112 billion market in the U.S.
For the Chinese imports that the States have brought in over time, the writing is on the wall that mobile-pay, and those QR Codes associated, are only set to grab a larger hold on payment methods other time.

What This Means for Countries Outside of China

While countries such as the United States may not be going completely cashless or cardless in the very near future, the momentum toward a fully digital currency is inevitable. With this, QR codes will remain one of the most practical ways to facilitate such transactions. While it may not be a sexy new technology, QR Codes are reliable, platform independent, and ubiquitous worldwide.

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Snapchat and the Resurgence of QR Codes

Posted on November 30th, 2017 by

With its 173 million users, Snapchat is certainly one of the most widely used apps. While the demographic is younger – it’s been predicted that by the end of this year, Snapchat will be bigger than both Facebook and Instagram in the US among 12 to 24-year-olds – the platform is seemingly everywhere. And, with attention like that, it means that businesses are working on how to utilize the platform to market themselves, boosting brand awareness and sales.

QR Codes, on the other hand, were a utility that seemed to fade – like a boxer on the ropes, down but not out. They were on ketchup bottles, real estate flyers, the walls of subway tiles – and all users had to do was point their camera, scan the black-and-white squares, and be redirected to a desired URL. The future in our hands. Except, you had to be sure your phone had a camera that could do QR scanning, download an app, maybe download another app, to finally read the code just to end up on the wrong website or a webpage not suited for mobile. The future, sure. QR Codes were simply ahead of their time.

Not only are QR Codes back and prevalent, but apps like Snapchat (and Facebook) are pushing the future of QR Codes. Sure, they may have different names – Snap Codes and Messenger Codes among others – but the technology and the way people can utilize it have caught up to what QR Codes were always meant to be.

Two years ago, when Snapcodes were rolled out, users were creating their own codes and adding friends using the platform. These were QR Codes in a different form, and with a different utility, from anything that had been seen before. The fact that Snapchat always opened up to its camera was inviting the use of these codes. Fast forward to today, and now using the codes users can unlock filters, get animated lenses, or even discover different channels and content groups with the app. And yes, the most recent development allows users to create a code that links to any website. When users scan the code, they are natively brought to the mobile page while remaining in Snapchat.

With this ease of use, and the potential advertising and marketing barriers being taken down, we are starting to see more businesses looking to start using Snapcodes in their marketing. And, now that Snapcodes have made it into the limelight, many are looking back on the previous renditions of QR Codes and now figuring on how they can be best put to use. Snapcodes got users accustomed to simply scanning with their phone, and since Snapchat’s scanning app supports QR codes along with Snapcodes, it means that anyone with Snapchat can effortlessly scan a QR code as well.

Using the platform in this way is giving businesses and brands a very powerful connection to an audience obsessed with Snapchat. Promoting their product or service through images – and QR Codes – instead of basic URL clicks is more substantial for branding and brand recognition. Leveraging QR Codes, businesses can:

– Easily create a B2C connection. Instead of ‘adding friends’, users could now check out a business, make an online search or purchase, and save or send web links.
– Have greater reach. Snapchat is storytelling with imagery, and with one click of a QR Code businesses could hold a conversation and further tell their story. Businesses like Starbucks and Whole Foods are using Snapchat as the portal for their advertising, allowing for special giveaways and features to be ‘unlocked’ when scanning their code.
– Collect payment in a seamless way. Much in the same vein as Apple Pay, users will be able to connect and pay for items with the simple scan of a code.

There is an entire greenfield in today’s world when it comes to utilizing Snapchat for QR Codes, and for as much growth and understanding as we’ve seen in the last year or so, there is still a ton of which is undeveloped and there is still a lot to learn. New technologies, best practices, and more efficient ways to utilize Snapchat for QR Codes in marketing a brand on the platform, are efforts that are only going to increase with time. This much is certain – QR Codes aren’t dead. They are very much alive.

 

References:
https://www.recode.net/2017/8/24/16198632/snapchat-instagram-teens-comscore-study-growth-users
https://www.wired.com/story/the-curious-comeback-of-the-dreaded-qr-code/
http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-expands-qr-code-reach-2017-2
http://mashable.com/2017/05/08/qr-codes-1app-snapchat-facebook/#yf.iO0BFM5qA
http://fortune.com/2016/05/13/snapchat-qr-code-reader/

 

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