Visa took its turn this week announcing support for the new QR code specification recently released by industry standards body EMVCo.
Its Visa Ready Program supports the new interoperable standards, making onboarding simpler for merchants who want to implement the mobile POS solution, the company said. The program provides tools that allow banks, processors and payment facilitators more easily deploy the solution for their merchants.
“We’ve already seen tremendous progress towards adoption of standardized, interoperable QR code payment systems in the developing world,” Sam Shrauger, SVP, Digital Products, for Visa said in a press release. “We are working with governments and central banks in countries like India to develop and implement QR code payment solutions that provide the convenience and security that are synonymous with Visa and help the journey toward a cashless future.”
Part of the appeal of a QR code-based mobile POS solution is its simplicity. There is no need for merchants to invest in expensive POS infrastructure.
Interoperability takes the solution to the next level, enabling participation between merchants and consumers who are part of the same closed system.
“mVisa enables successful completion of the transaction independent of the mobile operator service on both the consumer and the merchant’s phone, and the consumers and merchant’s banks,” Shrauger said. “This addresses a major challenge with mobile money programs, and lets consumers and merchants choose their own bank or mobile operator.”
With the card brands throwing their support behind these little barcodes, it’s clear that they are seen by industry insiders as a major player in enabling electronic transactions, particularly in developing areas.
“With the increasing deployment of QR Code payment methods, it is important that the payments ecosystem provides a consistent experience for merchants and consumers. Given the early stage of deployment of this emerging payment technology and growing adoption, now is the time to ensure the technology’s potential is not constrained in the future due to interoperability issues with the established payment infrastructure,” Cheryl Mish, EMVCo Board of Managers chair, said in a press release in which the organization announced the new specifications.
Visa named utility billers such as Reliance Energy and Mahanagar Gas as well as supermarket chains such as Nakumatt that are already using the codes to facilitate Visa payments.
The company announced an expansion of mVisa, its QR code-based payments solution in February. It intends to grow the codes’ use in other African and Asian countries where it has enabled mVisa.