There once was a time when it felt like the future was here.You could point your pocket-computer at a poster or a flyer,and instantly buy a product or learn more about your target through a new piece of tech that had never been seen before.
That was the QR code. And almost as soon as it arrived, it was gone.It wasn’t a problem with the technology itself. It was a problem of application. The QR code was ahead of its time, and no one really knew what to do with itBut today, QR codes are everywhere. And their staggering comeback is helping us stay safe in the fight against a global pandemic.
We’re becoming a contactless society
Between the masks, the hand sanitiser, and the constant safe radius between every person around us, we’re all doing everything we can to keep Covid-19 under control.
But it’s not just our hands and faces that are going contactless. Our devices are doing their part, too:
Back in April, during the height of the outbreak, Barclaycard reported that 90% of face-to-face transactions were made with contactless methods.
And that should come as no surprise. The bank had already seen a 23% increase in contactless payments last year – and the cashless demands of the current pandemic are putting more pressure on businesses and banks to find new ways to help curb the spread of the virus.
So how are small and large businesses adapting to the new normal?
They’re resurrecting the QR code. And they’re taking things far beyond the simple problem of contactless payment.
Luxury hospitality venues like The Ned and Soho House are delivering menus straight to their guests’ phones and tablets through a QR code they can scan at their table – eliminating the use of virus-friendly physical menus (and the continual need to disinfect them).
High-street giants like ASDA and John Lewis are cutting down on physical queues to their stores with a handy QR code scanned from a poster in their windows, so their shoppers can track their position in a virtual queue from the safety of their cars.
Medical practices are cutting down on phone calls, fashion stores are delivering a street-side shopping experience, and theme parks are certifying the health of their visitors before they enter – all with the use of printed QR codes.
The possibilities are endless.