Guest Column | April 5, 2016

Will NFC Or QR Codes Win The Mobile Wallet Battle?

By Chris Allen, Director, Demand Generation & Channel Marketing, Vantiv Integrated Payments (formerly Mercury Payment Systems)

New Canadian Mobile Wallet

An increase in global mobile payment transactions is expected this year with the growth of its total value of transactions predicted to be by 210 percent, according to eMarketer. Needless to say, the future looks good for proximity mobile payments technologies.

As mobile payments gain traction among merchants and consumers, there are two technologies that have come to the forefront: QR (Quick Response) codes and NFC (Near Field Communication). Both forms of contactless payment communications are vying for acceptance in the payments marketplace, and though each can be used for mobile payments, they have their own advantages and disadvantages that are sure to determine consumer preference for a winning payment solution.

First conceived in 1994 to facilitate automotive assembly line tracking, QR codes operate very much like barcodes, relaying information via a unique, scan-able image. Today, QR codes can be read by most smartphones, an advantage that has allowed QR codes to reach a wider market since their inception. Also a cost-effective option primarily requiring only simple software updates, many merchants already have the code scanning hardware built into their POS terminal, making no additional hardware necessary.