By Barclay Ballard tech radar pro
A new report from NTT Data and payment consulting firm Accourt Limited has shed some light on the burgeoning digital payments space.
According to the study QR codes are proving increasingly popular as a way of paying for goods and services, while mobile payments generally will continue to go from strength to strength.
In fact, mobile POS payments are predicted to account for nearly half of all digital payments by 2024 ($4 trillion out of the total $8 trillion digital payment market). It is believed that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a transition towards digital payments that has been coming for some time. Fears of transmitting the virus via cash transactions have resulted in some businesses only accepting digital payments.
Looking at different markets, the research found that Asia has been a leading adopter of digital payment solutions. In 2018, Chinese mobile payments hit $41 trillion, with 30% attributed to QR codes. In Latin America and Africa, meanwhile, digital transactions are also seeing strong growth and micro-merchants in both markets are adopting QR codes to circumvent the lack of POS infrastructure.
While QR codes are not predominantly used for payments in developed economies, in emerging markets they are often at the forefront of the digital payment boom. QR code-based mobile wallets often require little more than a smartphone, making them particularly popular for low-value, high-frequency transactions.
"Notwithstanding the continued growth of various payments modalities worldwide, COVID-19 has been another powerful force driving the rapid adoption and evolution of truly touchless commerce around the world,” Vaughan Collie, Managing Partner at Accourt, explained.
“Innovative QR code payments technologies are at the heart of enabling this touchless commerce evolution and continue to be extremely well-positioned to thrive into the future. We look forward to the ongoing realisation of QR code payments technology potential globally and the many opportunities it will create as a result."