The concept of mobile payments, which surfaced almost 10 years ago, has developed reasonably well across the Asia Pacific region. However, consumers in the developed Western markets have been less keen to move away from contactless payment cards. But in Europe there is a growing indication that the development of mobile payments, and QR codes, will push forward much faster than anticipated.
Six mobile wallets (Bluecode, ePassi, Momo Pocket, PAGAQUI, Pivo, and Vipps) covering 10 different markets in Europe are teaming up with Alipay to develop an interoperable QR code payment system. The aim is for users of all six participants to use their current mobile wallets to make QR code-authenticated payments across all 10 European markets, wherever the six wallets are accepted.
By being interoperable and utilizing QR codes, the system could bypass the networks of global schemes like Visa and Mastercard, as well as banks. The advantage is that implementation will be quick and, most importantly, maximized for cost efficiency.
Given the interconnected nature of Europe as a region and how easy it is for people to move between countries, the emergence of QR code payments has the potential to take off. The platform will help more consumers experience the ease and convenience of QR code payments, which could result in greater customer reach throughout the region. This in turn would change consumer attitudes towards mobile and QR code payments and lead to increased adoption. When the platform goes live, it will likely kick-start the adoption of mobile payments in Europe and entice mobile wallets from other non-participating markets to join the network.