QR codes are facilitating mobile payments for more users around the globe than ever before. The reason? They’re fast, safe, efficient, and most importantly, are available to the vast majority of consumers thanks to QR code functionality built into most smartphones. As a result, QR code payments have become the norm in Southeast Asia, particularly in countries like Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In China, QR-enabled mobile payments have largely displaced cash as the preferred transaction king, from street vendors to high-end retailers surpassing USD$13.
While the African continent hasn’t reached widespread QR and virtual card adoption, fintech enablers like Ukheshe are forging ahead with partnerships and solutions that drive digital banking and payment services. An example of the massive growth of alternative payments is PayFast’s recent report of a 412% increase in transactions made with Masterpass QR between March 2020 and February 2021 in South Africa.
Virtual cards are also gaining serious traction as traditional banks and financial service providers enhance their digital offering while addressing the safety concerns of consumers have about switching to new banking products. As the digital economy expands and e-commerce takes off across South Africa and the African continent, virtual cards look set to become a preferred payment method along with QR. For safety-conscious consumers, virtual cards are the answer to safe shopping, particularly for online transactions where fraud and data security are consistently ranked as top worries.
Ease of use, simplicity and security measures are likely to remain the biggest factors in determining which payment methods consumers choose. Considering the tremendous growth of QR and virtual cards Ukheshe is excited to see the digitisation of payments across industries including retail, professional services, and e-commerce.