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Sunday, January 23, 2022 | 12:49 am
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How Contactless Tech And QR Codes Will Bring Us Into The Future

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How Contactless Tech And QR Codes Will Bring Us Into The Future

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way humans interact with each other and their surroundings. Physical health has become one of the tops — if not the top — concerns of consumers worldwide, and this shift in thinking has quickly accelerated the growth of the contactless economy.

A recent Deloitte report lays out five drivers of the contactless economy that they believe will persist beyond the current crisis: hyperawareness of health and safety, digital-enabled consumers maintaining a sense of normalcy, 5G as the force multiplier, the rise of the human experience platforms and the rise of the new cloud native-enabled tech architecture.

While many focus on consumers functioning in the contactless economy via robotic deliveries or online payments, little attention is often given to day-to-day pain points of shared experiences like the use of ATMs or interfacing with shared kiosks. These new daily consumer challenges can easily be addressed by the advances in cloud native-enabled tech, made possible by the mass global adoption of smartphones.

QR Codes Lead The Way

According to Statista, there were 5.6 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2019. This widespread adoption of smartphones is empowering people all over the world to go contactless. It allows people to supplement the touching of common surfaces with the use of just their personal connected device.

And a key component to this entire process is Quick Response technology, otherwise known as QR codes. QR technology is a type of matrix barcode first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan, and you’ve probably come across one. Consumers can easily utilize their smartphones to scan a QR code to get information or instructions, thus avoiding the need to touch a shared surface.

A great example of this adoption recently has been from restaurants. Throughout the pandemic, many restaurants have used QR codes to supplement the use of a physical menu, which would typically go from table to table, person to person. Another great example of this adoption was when ExxonMobile brought contactless QR-enabled payments to more than 11,500 of its stations across the U.S. Drivers simply use their smartphones to scan the QR code to pay.

Integrating QR Codes With A Native Application

Using QR technology to help facilitate mobile payments, as Exxon did in the previous example, is a great step forward in advancing the contactless economy. It’s removed friction, empowered consumers, and elevated the experience overall. However, it’s not a fully realized contactless experience since Exxon customers still need to physically select their fuel grade and so on.

While this example isn’t a situation where a 100% contactless experience is feasible, many are.

A 100% contactless experience is made possible through the use of native applications or a web page on connected devices. Consumers can use their smartphones to scan a QR code, trigger an app or webpage and proceed with the task at hand. It’s the perfect way to eliminate the use of shared common surfaces while providing the best service possible to customers.

Imagining A 100% Contactless Experience

While a 100% contactless experience isn’t possible for everything, there are a seemingly endless amount of scenarios out there where it’s possible — or think of going to an ATM and scanning a QR code to trigger the bank’s app. From there, users can enter their pin code, select what they would like to do, and remotely control the ATM from the connected device.

What about in a shared space like an elevator? Simply scan a code, trigger the lift and select your floor. Perhaps you’re at the airport and need to print your luggage tags from a kiosk. You can easily scan a code, initiate the airline’s app, and command the kiosk to print out your tags. Once again all of these experiences are made possible by cloud native-enabled tech architecture.

Importance of UX/UI

A major key to the successful deployment and pairing of QR codes with native apps in any field is the development of quality UX/UI design. Frictionless adoption is critical and the process must be seamless. Ease of use is paramount as the technology must appeal to all consumers and not feel too high-tech. The last thing you want to do is overcomplicate an experience that consumers have been used to for years.

When developing native apps to pair with QR codes, make sure to always remember to design with purpose. Never forget the “why” — that you’re creating technology to help people and improve their lives. Alleviating their concerns must always remain top-of-mind. This isn’t something that should be taken lightly and will ultimately guide you to creating a product that consumers love to use.

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