Remember when the mobile payments game was first getting started? The industry was rallying around NFC as the technology of choice for mobile payments. Bluetooth low energy (BLE) was a close second, and QR codes were generally the last choice.
That was in 2012 and now it appears that 2020 is throwing us yet another curve ball– QR Codes are back in style in the U.S. That’s because PayPal has partnered with InComm to launch its PayPal and Venmo QR codes technology at pharmacy chain CVS.
This move will implement low-touch mobile payments at CVS’ 8,200 brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S., offering shoppers a secure payment experience without needing to touch a keypad or sign a receipt.
PayPal users can pay using stored debit or credit cards, bank accounts, their PayPal balance, or PayPal Credit. Venmo users can also pay using their stored debit or credit cards and bank account, but will additionally be able to tap into their Venmo balance or Venmo Rewards.
“In the midst of COVID-19, we have seen an incredible acceleration of digital payments and touch-free payments,” said PayPal EVP and CPO Mark Britto. “Companies of all types and sizes are looking for ways to maintain the safety of their customers and employees, especially through touch-free experiences like curbside pickup and enhanced online shopping. QR codes complement these and provide retailers an additional payment method that furthers this touch-free mission and continues the growth of digital payments for all partners in the ecosystem. The essential nature of pharmacies makes CVS Pharmacy the perfect initial partner for PayPal and Venmo QR Codes – and we’re proud to help their customers stay safe while purchasing what they need.”
This week’s deal also marks a multi-year agreement between PayPal and InComm. The partnership enables InComm to distribute PayPal QR Code technology to its network of retailers, allowing them to integrate the QR code payment technology into their POS terminals.
PayPal has been touting its touch-free payment technology amidst the COVID-19 pandemic (see below). And given the payment giant’s previous traction and existing user base, the company will certainly come out on top as a winner in the post-pandemic economy.
Elsewhere across the globe, QR code payments have already seen success. Ant Group’s Alipay uses QR codes for in-store payments and had over a 50% adoption rate at the end of 2018.