Monday , February 6, 2023

QR Codes And Digital Wallets Are Gaining Popularity Fast Among Consumers

Quick Response codes are one of the many payment options to flourish as consumers embrace digital and contactless payments in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, says a report from Blackhawk Network Inc. 

Of the 13,000 respondents surveyed across nine countries representing nearly half of the world’s card-payment volume, 18% say they used a QR code or barcode for payment for the first time during the pandemic, and 40% say they are using them more frequently. The technology is also catching the attention of consumers who do not use the technology, with 30% of non-users saying they are interested in using QR codes or barcodes for payment.

Digital gift cards are another payment option to receive a lift, with nearly 50% of respondents saying they have used them at online-only retailers in the last year. The payment option is especially popular in Australia, where more than half of digital gift card users use them at grocery stores. Overall, 34% of respondents say they purchased a digital or physical gift card for themselves in the last year, and 46% say they are interested in using digital gift cards to make online purchases. Blackhawk made e-gift cards a part of its product offering earlier this year by enabling merchants to sell them in-store.

Digital wallets have also proven popular with consumers during the pandemic, with 85% saying acceptance of the apps by merchants has made shopping easier. E-commerce merchants remain the preferred segment to use the payment technology among 41% of respondents, followed by grocery stores (37%) and mass merchandisers (26%).

In general, consumers have readily embraced digital payment options since the pandemic hit, with 69% of respondents saying they shop more frequently at merchants that accept digital payments and 54% saying they spend more when they have the option to pay digitally. In addition, 63% say they are more likely to shop at a retailer if they accept the digital payments they use, and 73% say they want to be able to pay the same way they pay online and in-store.

Despite consumers’ preference for digital wallets, hurdles to widespread adoption remain, the report says. Difficulty using the technology is the biggest issue, with 50% of respondents saying that lack of mainstream acceptance creates friction when it comes to using the technology. In addition, 30% say they can’t always use the same digital wallet at the same retailer in-store and online, and 20% say they don’t feel as comfortable using digital wallets as they do traditional payment methods. Too many digital-wallet options is another speed bump to broader consumer adoption, according to 27% of respondents.

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