October 14, 2021

QR-code payment for small-sized businesses

Eftpos is working with major retailers, banks and fintech companies to enable customers to pay with QR codes. Although this could be a boon for small and medium-sized businesses too industry associations say “the problem lies in the details”.

The eQR payment platform is currently being developed in collaboration in partnership with Commonwealth Bank and NAB, along together with the fintech Azupay, Beem It and Merchant Warrior. Retail giants like Coles along with Woolworths are also joining as the first to adopt.

According to an EFTPOS media announcement, the new technology will deliver a “better easy, faster, rich and data-rich payment experience” for customers, providing greater options and efficiency during the payment process.

It is expected that the eQR platform is scheduled to roll out prior to Christmas.

The idea behind partnering with fintech is to spur further innovation while encouraging participation by merchants across more industries, such as entertainment online and fast food outlets, as well as even donations to charities.

“We anticipate that eQR could be the QR equivalent of the eftpos Tap & Pay on debit cards,” EFTPOS chief executive Stephen Benton said in a statement.

What does QR-code-based payments mean for SMEs?

In an interview with SmartCompany, Alexi Boyd, the chief executive officer for the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) said she’s open to any idea that will make small companies more profitable.

When it comes to payment services, the most difficult part is the process of implementation. If this technology can be made simple for businesses to incorporate into their existing systems and makes it much easier for SMEs to offer their customers services and their needs, then it’s a good thing.

However, as with all things, “the devil is in the details” she says.

We aren’t given any details about how this technology can be distributed to small-scale companies, or what cost are involved in adopting and making use of it. It’s also unclear if there will be additional costs for companies.

Although QR codes have been in use for several many years, it was the arrival of COVID-19 epidemic has brought about a greater understanding of them by the general population, since they’ve been the standard method to verify places.

The pandemic has also changed consumer behaviour more generally which has resulted in more online shopping and higher adoption of pay-later, buy-now items, which indicates that customers are getting more used to technological advances when they shop.

This has meant that SMEs need to change, Boyd explains. It’s crucial the business owner remain up-to-date with how their customers prefer to pay. Most of the time, if there’s excessive friction during the payment process, or the buyer finds it too complicated, “they just walk away from the transaction”.

Boyd insists that the main thing to remember in this case is that the latest eQR code technology is simple for small businesses to provide to their clients.

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