Home/ Money / Calculators/  De-jargoned: Quick response code for payments

In October, mobile wallet company Paytm launched a quick response (QR) code-based payment option in its mobile phone app. ICICI Bank Ltd, the country’s largest private bank by assets, too, launched a QR code-based payment option in Bengaluru last month. ePaisa, a fintech company, allows payment via bitcoins using QR code. With more companies offering the QR code option, here is a look at how it works in the payments space.


It is a code that is machine-readable. It is usually in a black and white matrix and can be read by a smartphone. The QR code has details of the product attached to it. Depending on the use, details in the QR code will differ. So, if you were to buy a mobile phone worth 5,000 from an electronic store, the QR code generated will have details such as the product barcode, merchant’s details, product cost, and so on. Using this QR code, you can then make the payment.

The usage of QR codes may be new in the payments space, however, the concept has been in the market for a while now. QR codes have been used earlier for non-payment activities such as marketing and advertising, redeeming vouchers and even inviting contacts.


First and foremost, you need to have a smart phone. If you use a payments app, your payment provider should enable you to scan a QR code.

Apps enable a merchant to receive payments by allowing wallet-holders to scan a pre-printed QR code using the app. A pre-printed QR code only contains information such as account details of the merchants. After scanning the QR code, the buyer will have to enter the amount and approve the payment.

To make a payment, you will have to first login to the app that allows you to scan the QR code. Next, you have to scan the QR code that is provided or placed at the checkout counter (some merchants keep a laminated physical copy of it at the counter). To scan this code, your smartphone’s camera gets activated automatically.

If the QR code is displayed on the terminal, you can scan it and the transaction goes through after you select the mode of payment—Net banking, debit card, credit card or e-wallet. In case it is a physical QR code kept near the counter, after you scan it, you may have to enter the bill amount as well.


The payments space is still evolving and will take some time to get standardised. At present, the infrastruture is not in place. However, more banks and financial technology companies will be looking at using QR codes for various payments and transactions. Already, these can be used at retail stores, e-commerce websites, utility billers and radio taxis.

In the future, you can even expect QR codes to be used for payments at quick service restaurants, supermarkets and even mass rapid transit systems.

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Updated: 03 Nov 2015, 06:33 PM IST
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My Reads Watchlist Feedback Redeem a Gift Card Logout