EMVCo, a consortium for smart payments collectively owned by American Express (Amex), Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay, have issued the first version of QR code specifications, or the industry standard for the payment format.

The QR format features random patterns of black-and-white images and can hold 300 times more data than traditional bar codes.

The development comes after one year following UnionPay proposed to EMVCo to set up a safe, interoperable and open QR (Quick Response) code payment system in June 2016.

After that, EMVCo established a working group for developing the QR Code Specification and appointed UnionPay as the group leader to manage the development of QR code payment solutions.

The QR code payment specification, which was issued by UnionPay to its members, is compatible with this EMVCo specification.

In a statement, EMVCo said: “In an EMV Consumer – Presented Mode QR Code transaction, consumers can make purchases – using credentials associated with their EMV card and previously provisioned to their device – by selecting the QR option for payment within their mobile application, which will result in the display of the QR Code, and having that QR Code scanned at the time of payment to complete the transaction.

“These transactions are always authorised online and given that the scanning of the QR Code is a one – way transfer of data from the consumer’s device t o the POI, the payload of the QR Code does not contain any data from the POI.

“While out of scope of this specification, in the event that any cardholder verification is required, it is envisaged that it would be performed through CDCVM. Thus, unlike typical EMV transactions, the requirement for CVM is never communicated, or delegated to the POI.

“While specific markets may have POI CVM requirements in addition to any CDCVM that may have been performed, these POI CVM requirements are out of scope for EMVCo.”