QR code

QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan.[1] A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. In practice, QR codes often contain data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application. A QR code uses four standardized encoding modes (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, and kanji) to store data efficiently; extensions may also be used.[2]

The Quick Response system became popular outside the automotive industry due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. Applications include product tracking, item identification, time tracking, document management, and general marketing.[3]

A QR code consists of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device such as a camera, and processed using Reed–Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted. The required data is then extracted from patterns that are present in both horizontal and vertical components of the image.[3]

QR code for mobile English Wikipedia
QR code for the URL of the English Wikipedia Mobile main page

History

The QR code system was invented in 1994 by the Japanese company Denso Wave.[4] Its purpose was to track vehicles during manufacturing; it was designed to allow high-speed component scanning.[5] QR codes are now used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile-phone users (termed mobile tagging). QR codes may be used to display text to the user, to add a vCard contact to the user's device, to open a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), to connect to a wireless network, or to compose an email or text message. There are a great many QR code generators available as software or as online tools.[6] The QR code has become one of the most-used types of two-dimensional code.[7]

Standards

QR Code Structure Example 3
Structure of a QR code (version 7), highlighting functional elements

There are several standards that cover the encoding of data as QR codes:[8]

At the application layer, there is some variation between most of the implementations. Japan's NTT DoCoMo has established de facto standards for the encoding of URLs, contact information, and several other data types.[11] The open-source "ZXing" project maintains a list of QR code data types.[12]

Uses

Japan-qr-code-billboard
A QR code used on a large billboard in Japan, linking to the sagasou.mobi website

QR codes have become common in consumer advertising. Typically, a smartphone is used as a QR code scanner, displaying the code and converting it to some useful form (such as a standard URL for a website, thereby obviating the need for a user to type it into a web browser). QR code has become a focus of advertising strategy, since it provides a way to access a brand's website more quickly than by manually entering a URL.[13][14] Beyond mere convenience to the consumer, the importance of this capability is that it increases the conversion rate: the chance that contact with the advertisement will convert to a sale. It coaxes interested prospects further down the conversion funnel with little delay or effort, bringing the viewer to the advertiser's website immediately, where a longer and more targeted sales pitch may lose the viewer's interest.

Although initially used to track parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes are used over a much wider range of applications. These include commercial tracking, entertainment and transport ticketing, product and loyalty marketing and in-store product labeling. Examples of marketing include where a company's discounted and percent discount can be captured using a QR code decoder which is a mobile app, or storing a company's information such as address and related information alongside its alpha-numeric text data as can be seen in Yellow Pages directory.

They can also be used in storing personal information for use by organizations. An example of this is Philippines National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) where NBI clearances now come with a QR code. Many of these applications target mobile-phone users (via mobile tagging). Users may receive text, add a vCard contact to their device, open a URI, or compose an e-mail or text message after scanning QR codes. They can generate and print their own QR codes for others to scan and use by visiting one of several pay or free QR code-generating sites or apps. Google had an API, now deprecated, to generate QR codes,[15] and apps for scanning QR codes can be found on nearly all smartphone devices.[16]

Z80-Tianjin -Beijing
QR codes have been used and printed on train tickets in China since 2010.[17]

QR codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, on buses, on business cards, or on almost any object about which users might want information. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image of the QR code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the telephone's browser. This act of linking from physical world objects is termed hardlinking or object hyperlinking. QR codes also may be linked to a location to track where a code has been scanned. Either the application that scans the QR code retrieves the geo information by using GPS and cell tower triangulation (aGPS) or the URL encoded in the QR code itself is associated with a location.[18] In 2008, a Japanese stonemason announced plans to engrave QR codes on gravestones, allowing visitors to view information about the deceased, and family members to keep track of visits.[19] Psychologist Richard Wiseman was one of the first authors to include QR codes in a book, in Paranormality: Why We See What Isn't There (2011).[20]

QR codes have been incorporated into currency. In June 2011 The Royal Dutch Mint (Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt) issued the world's first official coin with a QR code to celebrate the centenary of its current building and premises. The coin can be scanned by a smartphone and link to a special website with contents about the historical event and design of the coin.[21] In 2014 the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a 100-naira banknote to commemorate its centennial, the first banknote to incorporate a QR code in its design. When scanned with an internet-enabled mobile device, the code goes to a website which tells the centenary story of Nigeria.[22] In 2015, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation issued a 100-rubles note to commemorate the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. It contains a QR code into its design, and when scanned with an internet-enabled mobile device, the code goes to a website that details the historical and technical background of the commemorative note. In 2017, the Bank of Ghana issued a 5-cedis banknote to commemorate 60 years of Central Banking in Ghana, and contains a QR code in its design, which when scanned with an internet-enabled mobile device, that code goes to the official Bank of Ghana website.

Credit card functionality is under development. On February 20, 2016, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will launch the eponymously named Bharat QR, a common QR code jointly developed by all the four major card payment companies - National Payments Corporation of India that runs RuPay cards along with MasterCard, Visa and American Express. It will also have the capability of accepting payments on the unified payments interface (UPI) platform.[23][24]

Augmented reality

QR codes are used in some augmented reality systems to determine the positions of objects in 3-dimensional space.[5]

Mobile operating systems

QR codes can be used on various mobile device operating systems. These devices support URL redirection, which allows QR codes to send metadata to existing applications on the device. Many paid or free apps are available with the ability to scan the codes and hard-link to an external URL.

URLs

URLs aided marketing conversion rates even in the pre-smartphone era, but during those years faced several limitations: ad viewers usually had to type the URL and often did not have a web browser in front of them when they first viewed the ad. The chances were high that they would forget to visit the site later, not bother to type a URL, or forget what URL to type. Semantic URLs decreased these risks but did not eliminate them. With the advent of smartphones the issue of viewers not being able to access a website immediately has become less of an issue, however the trouble of typing in URLs still remained and thus QR codes were utilised in order to allow redirecting to URLs for instant access.

Virtual stores

During the month of June 2011, according to one study, 14 million mobile users scanned a QR code or a barcode. Some 58% of those users scanned a QR or barcode from their homes, while 39% scanned from retail stores; 53% of the 14 million users were men between the ages of 18 and 34.[25] The use of QR codes for "virtual store" formats started in South Korea,[26] and Argentina,[27] but is currently expanding globally.[28] Walmart, Procter & Gamble and Woolworths have already adopted the Virtual Store concept.[29]

QR code payment

QR codes can be used to store bank account information or credit card information, or they can be specifically designed to work with particular payment provider applications. There are several trial applications of QR code payments across the world.[30][31] In developing countries like India and China, QR code payment is a very popular and convenient method of making payments.

In November 2012, QR code payments were deployed on a larger scale in the Czech Republic when an open format for payment information exchange — a Short Payment Descriptor — was introduced and endorsed by the Czech Banking Association as the official local solution for QR payments.[32] In 2013, the European Payment Council provided guidelines for the EPC QR code enabling SCT initiation within the Eurozone.

QR codes are commonly used in the field of cryptographic currencies, particularly those based on and including Bitcoin.[33] Payment addresses, cryptographic keys and transaction information are often shared between digital wallets in this way.[34]

Website login

QR codes can be used to log into websites: a QR code is shown on the login page on a computer screen, and when a registered user scans it with a verified smartphone, they will automatically be logged in. Authentication is performed by the smartphone which contacts the server. Google tested such a login method in January 2012.[35]

WiFi network login

By specifying the SSID, encryption type, password/passphrase, and if the SSID is hidden or not, mobile device users can quickly scan and join networks without having to manually enter the data.[36] Note that this technique is valid for specifying only static SSID passwords (i.e. PSK); dynamic user credentials (i.e. Enterprise/802.1x) cannot be encoded in this manner.

The format of the encoded string is:

WIFI:S:<SSID>;T:<WPA|WEP|>;P:<password>;H:<true|false|>;

Order of fields does not matter. Special characters """ (quotation mark), ";" (semicolon), "," (comma) and ":" (colon) should be escaped with a backslash ("\") as in MECARD encoding. For example, if an SSID were "foo;bar\baz", with quotation marks part of the literal SSID name itself, this would be encoded as: WIFI:S:\"foo\;bar\\baz\";;[37]

As of January 2018, iPhones have this feature built into the camera app under iOS 11.x. Android users may have the feature built into one of the device's stock apps (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+/Note8 users can launch the stock browser, tap the browser's 3-dot menu, then choose "Scan QR code") or can install one of several available free apps such as "Barcode Scanner" or "QR Droid" to perform the QR Wi-Fi join.

Funerary use

In 2008, Ishinokoe in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan began to sell tombstones with QR codes produced by IT DeSign, where the code leads to a virtual grave site of the deceased.[38][39][40] Other companies, such as Wisconsin based Interactive Headstones, have begun implementing QR codes into tombstones.[41] In 2014 the Jewish Cemetery of La Paz in Uruguay began implementing QR codes for tombstones.[42]

TOTP use

QR codes are also used in scanning TOTP secrets to generate time based one time passwords.

Encryption

Japan Visa with QR code
Japanese immigration landing permission with a QR code at the bottom. The QR code content is encrypted.

Encrypted QR codes, which are not very common, have a few applications. For example, there is an Android app,[43] that manages encryption and decryption of QR codes using the Data Encryption Standard algorithm.[44]

The Japanese immigration system usage of encrypted QR codes on landing permission stamps in passports, is another example.[45][46]

Video games

Popular video games, such as Fez, The Talos Principle, and Watch Dogs, have incorporated QR codes as story and/or gameplay elements.[47][48]

Loyalty Programs

QR Codes have been used by various retail outlets that have loyalty programs. Usually, these programs are in the form of an app that users can download onto their phone and comes with a feature to scan QR codes, which are found printed on the receipt received when making a purchase, allowing users to collect award points simply by scanning the code.

Design

Unlike the older, one-dimensional barcodes that were designed to be mechanically scanned by a narrow beam of light, a QR code is detected by a 2-dimensional digital image sensor and then digitally analyzed by a programmed processor. The processor locates the three distinctive squares at the corners of the QR code image, using a smaller square (or multiple squares) near the fourth corner to normalize the image for size, orientation, and angle of viewing. The small dots throughout the QR code are then converted to binary numbers and validated with an error-correcting algorithm.

Storage

The amount of data that can be stored in the QR code symbol depends on the datatype (mode, or input character set), version (1, ..., 40, indicating the overall dimensions of the symbol, i.e. 4 × version number + 17 dots on each side), and error correction level. The maximum storage capacities occur for version 40 and error correction level L (low), denoted by 40-L:[7][49]

Maximum character storage capacity (40-L)
character refers to individual values of the input mode/datatype
Input mode Max. characters Bits/char. Possible characters, default encoding
Numeric only 7,089 3⅓ 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Alphanumeric 4,296 0–9, A–Z (upper-case only), space, $, %, *, +, -, ., /, :
Binary/byte 2,953 8 ISO 8859-1
Kanji/kana 1,817 13 Shift JIS X 0208

Here are some sample QR code symbols:

Qr-1

Version 1 (21×21). Content: "Ver1"

Qr-2

Version 2 (25×25). Content: "Version 2"

Qr-3

Version 3 (29×29). Content: "Version 3 QR Code"

Qr-4

Version 4 (33×33). Content: "Version 4 QR Code, up to 50 char"

Qr-code-ver-10

Version 10 (57×57). Content: "VERSION 10 QR CODE, UP TO 174 CHAR AT H LEVEL, WITH 57X57 MODULES AND PLENTY OF ERROR-CORRECTION TO GO AROUND. NOTE THAT THERE ARE ADDITIONAL TRACKING BOXES"

QR Droid 2663

Version 25 (117×117 enlarged to 640x640)

Qr-code-ver-40

Version 40 (177×177). Content: 1,264 characters of ASCII text describing QR codes

Error correction

QR Code Damaged
Damaged but still decodable QR code, Link to http://en.m.wikipedia.org
2 150 150DPI ty oerny 08 2011
Example of a QR code with artistic embellishment that will still scan correctly thanks to error correction

Codewords are 8 bits long and use the Reed–Solomon error correction algorithm with four error correction levels. The higher the error correction level, the less storage capacity. The following table lists the approximate error correction capability at each of the four levels:

Level L (Low) 7% of codewords can be restored.
Level M (Medium) 15% of codewords can be restored.
Level Q (Quartile)[50] 25% of codewords can be restored.
Level H (High) 30% of codewords can be restored.

In larger QR symbols, the message is broken up into several Reed–Solomon code blocks. The block size is chosen so that at most 15 errors can be corrected in each block; this limits the complexity of the decoding algorithm. The code blocks are then interleaved together, making it less likely that localized damage to a QR symbol will overwhelm the capacity of any single block.

Due to error correction, it is possible to create artistic QR codes that still scan correctly, but contain intentional errors to make them more readable or attractive to the human eye, as well as to incorporate colors, logos, and other features into the QR code block.[51][52]

It is also possible to design artistic QR codes without reducing the error correction capacity by manipulating the underlying mathematical constructs.[53][54]

Encoding

The format information records two things: the error correction level and the mask pattern used for the symbol. Masking is used to break up patterns in the data area that might confuse a scanner, such as large blank areas or misleading features that look like the locator marks. The mask patterns are defined on a grid that is repeated as necessary to cover the whole symbol. Modules corresponding to the dark areas of the mask are inverted. The format information is protected from errors with a BCH code, and two complete copies are included in each QR symbol.[3]

The message dataset is placed from right to left in a zigzag pattern, as shown below. In larger symbols, this is complicated by the presence of the alignment patterns and the use of multiple interleaved error-correction blocks.

QR Format Information

Meaning of format information

QR Character Placement

Message placement within a QR symbol

QR Ver3 Codeword Ordering

Larger symbol illustrating interleaved blocks

The general structure of a QR encoding is as a sequence of 4 bit indicators with payload length dependent on the indicator mode (e.g. byte encoding payload length is dependent on the first byte).[55]

Mode indicator Description Typical structure '[ type : sizes in bits ]'
0001 Numeric [0001 : 4] [ Character Count Indicator : variable ] [ Data Bit Stream : 10 × charcount ]
0010 Alphanumeric [0010 : 4] [ Character Count Indicator : variable ] [ Data Bit Stream : 11 × charcount ]
0100 Byte encoding [0100 : 4] [ Character Count Indicator : variable ] [ Data Bit Stream : 8 × charcount ]
1000 Kanji encoding [1000 : 4] [ Character Count Indicator : variable ] [ Data Bit Stream : 13 × charcount ]
0011 Structured append [0011 : 4] [ Symbol Position : 4 ] [ Total Symbols: 4 ] [ Parity : 8 ]
0111 ECI [0111 : 4] [ ECI Assignment number : variable ]
0101 FNC1 in first position [0101 : 4] [ Numeric/Alphanumeric/Byte/Kanji payload : variable ]
1001 FNC1 in second position [1001 : 4] [ Application Indicator : 8 ] [ Numeric/Alphanumeric/Byte/Kanji payload : variable ]
0000 End of message [0000 : 4]
Note:
  • Character Count Indicator depends on how many modules are in a QR code (Symbol Version).
  • ECI Assignment number Size:
    • 8 × 1 bits if ECI Assignement Bitstream starts with '0'
    • 8 × 2 bits if ECI Assignement Bitstream starts with '10'
    • 8 × 3 bits if ECI Assignement Bitstream starts with '110'

Four-bit indicators are used to select the encoding mode and convey other information.

Encoding modes
Indicator Meaning
0001 Numeric encoding (10 bits per 3 digits)
0010 Alphanumeric encoding (11 bits per 2 characters)
0100 Byte encoding (8 bits per character)
1000 Kanji encoding (13 bits per character)
0011 Structured append (used to split a message across multiple QR symbols)
0111 Extended Channel Interpretation (select alternate character set or encoding)
0101 FNC1 in first position (see Code 128 for more information)
1001 FNC1 in second position
0000 End of message (Terminator)

Encoding modes can be mixed as needed within a QR symbol. (e.g., a url with a long string of alphanumeric characters )

[ Mode Indicator][ Mode bitstream ] --> [ Mode Indicator][ Mode bitstream ] --> etc... --> [ 0000 End of message (Terminator) ]

After every indicator that selects an encoding mode is a length field that tells how many characters are encoded in that mode. The number of bits in the length field depends on the encoding and the symbol version.

Number of bits in a length field (Character Count Indicator)
Encoding Ver. 1–9 10–26 27–40
Numeric 10 12 14
Alphanumeric 9 11 13
Byte 8 16 16
Kanji 8 10 12

Alphanumeric encoding mode stores a message more compactly than the byte mode can, but cannot store lower-case letters and has only a limited selection of punctuation marks, which are sufficient for rudimentary web addresses. Two characters are coded in an 11-bit value by this formula:

V = 45 × C1 + C2

This has the exception that the last character in an alphanumeric string with an odd length is read as a 6-bit value instead.

Alphanumeric character codes
Code Character Code Character Code Character Code Character Code Character
00 0 09 9 18 I 27 R 36 Space
01 1 10 A 19 J 28 S 37 $
02 2 11 B 20 K 29 T 38 %
03 3 12 C 21 L 30 U 39 *
04 4 13 D 22 M 31 V 40 +
05 5 14 E 23 N 32 W 41
06 6 15 F 24 O 33 X 42 .
07 7 16 G 25 P 34 Y 43 /
08 8 17 H 26 Q 35 Z 44 :

Decoding example

The following images offer more information about the QR code.

QRCode-1-Intro

1 — Introduction

QRCode-2-Structure

2 — Structure

QRCode-3-Layout,Encoding

3 — Layout & Encoding

QRCode-4-Levels,Masks

4 — Levels & Masks

QRCode-5-Protocols

5 — Protocols

Variants

Micro QR code

Micro QR code is a smaller version of the QR code standard for applications where symbol size is limited. There are four different versions (sizes) of Micro QR codes: the smallest is 11×11 modules; the largest can hold 35 numeric characters.[56]

Micro QR Example

Micro QR code example

Micro QR Version 3M Layout

Micro QR code functional regions

QR Code Model 1 Example

Model 1 QR code example

Model 1 QR Version 2 Layout

Model 1 QR code functional regions

IQR code

IQR Code is an alternative to existing QR codes developed by Denso Wave. IQR codes can be created in square or rectangular formations; this is intended for situations where a rectangular barcode would otherwise be more appropriate, such as cylindrical objects. IQR codes can fit the same amount of information in 30% less space. There are 61 versions of square IQR codes, and 15 versions of rectangular codes. For squares, the minimum size is 9x9 modules; rectangles have a minimum of 19x5 modules. IQR codes add error correction level S, which allows for 50% error correction.[57] IQR Codes have not yet been given an ISO specification, and only proprietary Denso Wave products can create or read IQR codes.[58]

SQRC

Secure Quick Response code (SQRC) is a type of QR code that contains a "private data" segment after the terminator instead of the specified filler bytes "ec 11".[59] This private data segment must be deciphered with an encryption key. This can be used to store private information and to manage company's internal information.[60]

Frame QR

FrameQR is a QR code with a “canvas area” that can be flexibly used. In the center of this code is the canvas area, where graphics, letters, and more can be flexibly arranged, making it possible to lay out the code without losing the design of illustrations, photos, etc.[61]

Model 1 QR code is an older version of the specification. It is visually similar to the widely seen model 2 codes, but lacks alignment patterns.

License

The use of QR code technology is freely licensed as long as users follow the standards for QR Code documented with JIS or ISO. Non-standardized codes may require special licensing.[62]

Denso Wave owns a number of patents on QR code technology, but has chosen to exercise them in a limited fashion.[62] In order to promote widespread usage of the technology Denso Wave chose to waive its rights to a key patent in its possession for standardized codes only.[8] In the US, the granted QR code patent is US 5726435, and in Japan JP 2938338. The European Patent Office granted patent "EPO 0672994". to Denso Wave, which was then validated into French, UK, and German patents, all of which expired in March 2015.[63]

The text QR Code itself is a registered trademark and wordmark of Denso Wave Incorporated.[64] In UK, the trademark is registered as E921775, the word "QR Code", with a filing date of 03/09/1998.[65] The UK version of the trademark is based on the Kabushiki Kaisha Denso (DENSO CORPORATION) trademark, filed as Trademark 000921775, the word "QR Code", on 03/09/1998 and registered on 6/12/1999 with the European Union OHIM (Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market).[66] The U.S. Trademark for the word "QR Code" is Trademark 2435991 and was filed on 29 September 1998 with an amended registration date of 13 March 2001, assigned to Denso Corporation.[67]

Risks

The only context in which common QR codes can carry executable data is the URL data type. These URLs may host JavaScript code, which can be used to exploit vulnerabilities in applications on the host system, such as the reader, the web browser or the image viewer, since a reader will typically send the data to the application associated with the data type used by the QR code.

In the case of no software exploits, malicious QR codes combined with a permissive reader can still put a computer's contents and user's privacy at risk. This practice is known as "attagging", a portmanteau of "attack tagging".[68] They are easily created and can be affixed over legitimate QR codes.[69] On a smartphone, the reader's permissions may allow use of the camera, full Internet access, read/write contact data, GPS, read browser history, read/write local storage, and global system changes.[70][71][72]

Risks include linking to dangerous web sites with browser exploits, enabling the microphone/camera/GPS, and then streaming those feeds to a remote server, analysis of sensitive data (passwords, files, contacts, transactions),[73] and sending email/SMS/IM messages or DDOS packets as part of a botnet, corrupting privacy settings, stealing identity,[74] and even containing malicious logic themselves such as JavaScript[75] or a virus.[76][77] These actions could occur in the background while the user is only seeing the reader opening a seemingly harmless web page.[78] In Russia, a malicious QR code caused phones that scanned it to send premium texts at a fee of US$6 each.[68]

Extension

Hcc2d
Samples of the High Capacity Colored 2-Dimensional (HCC2D) code: (a) 4-color HCC2D code and (b) 8-color HCC2D code.

Researchers have proposed a new High Capacity Colored 2-Dimensional (HCC2D) Code, which builds upon a QR code basis for preserving the QR robustness to distortions and uses colors for increasing data density (at this stage it is still in prototyping phase). The HCC2D code specification is described in details in Querini et al. (2014),[79] while techniques for color classification of HCC2D code cells are described in detail in Querini and Italiano (2014),[80] which is an extended version of Querini and Italiano (2013).[81]

Introducing colors into QR codes requires addressing additional issues. In particular, during QR code reading only the brightness information is taken into account, while HCC2D codes have to cope with chromatic distortions during the decoding phase. In order to ensure adaptation to chromatic distortions which arise in each scanned code, HCC2D codes make use of an additional field: the Color Palette Pattern. This is because color cells of a Color Palette Pattern are supposed to be distorted in the same way as color cells of the Encoding Region. Replicated color palettes are used for training machine learning classifiers.

See also

References

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Bibliography

External links

Belly (loyalty program)

Belly was founded in August 2011 in Chicago by Logan LaHive and Craig Ulliott, receiving its initial round of around $3M in funding from Chicago-based venture capital firm Lightbank.Belly provides a loyalty program for merchants, using an in-store iPad for the merchant and an app for customers. It charges merchants $50 to $100 a month for the service, which includes an iPad, a case and lock for the iPad, marketing materials, plus data and analytics. Customers earn loyalty points by checking in at the store with a QR code technology to earn points that could be redeemed as a merchant chose.

Bugis MRT station

Bugis MRT station (EW12/DT14) is an underground Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) interchange station on the Downtown Line and the East West Line located at the boundary of Downtown Core and Rochor planning areas, Singapore. Bugis station is within close proximity of Jalan Besar MRT station on the Downtown Line, and is one of the most crowded MRT stations in Singapore.

EPC QR code

The European Payments Council Quick Response Code guidelines define the content of a QR code that can be used to initiate SEPA credit transfer (SCT). It contains all the necessary information in clear text. These QR code guidelines are used on many invoices and payment requests in the countries that support it (Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands) enabling tens of millions to pay without requiring manual input leading to lower error rates.

The EPC guidelines are available from the EPC itself. Another version has also been published by the Federation of Finnish Finance Services (FFI).

European Payments Council

The European Payments Council (EPC) was founded in 2002. It calls itself "the decision-making and coordination body of the European banking industry in relation to payments". The main task of the EPC is the development of the Single Euro Payment Area. The 74 members are banks and banking associatio

EPC QR Code

Faster Payment System

Faster Payment System (FPS; Chinese: 快速支付系統, more commonly known as 轉數快) is a real-time gross settlement payment system in Hong Kong that connects 21 traditional banks and ten electronic payment and digital wallet operators. Users are able to perform instant money transfer or make payment to merchants by using the recipient's phone number, e-mail or QR code that contains the user's numeric identifier. Using the "traditional way" of full name and account number to make interbank transfer is also allowed.The system was implemented by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and operated by Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited (HKICL). It was launched for pre-registration on 17 September 2018, and had 450,000 registrations as of 28 September 2018. Transfers and payments is available since 30 September 2018.

Fuzhou Metro

Fuzhou Metro (simplified Chinese: 福州地铁; traditional Chinese: 福州地鐵; pinyin: Fúzhōu Dìtiě) is a metro system in the city of Fuzhou, Fujian Province in China. The first line was planned to open in 2014, but the southern section (9.76 km (6.06 mi)) was delayed to 2016 and the northern section (15.13 km (9.40 mi)) was delayed to 2017. It was due to archaeological excavations according to report. The operator are Fuzhou Metro Group and Fuzhou CETC Rail Trainsit Company.

Fuzhou Metro was approved for construction on 3 June 2009. Trial service closed to the public began on 30 December 2015 and lasted for three months. The first operational line (the south section of Line 1 from Sanchajie Station to Fuzhou South Railway Station) started service on 18 May 2016.

MeCard (QR code)

MeCard is a data file similar to vCard but used by NTT DoCoMo in Japan in QR code format for use with Cellular Phones.

It is largely compatible with most QR-readers for smartphones. It is an easy way to share a contact with the most used fields. Usually, devices can recognize it and treat it like a contact ready to import.

The following QR Code image is an example containing the text: MECARD:N:Doe,John;TEL:13035551212;EMAIL:john.doe@example.com;;

Medical identification tag

A medical identification tag is a small emblem or tag worn on a bracelet, neck chain, or on the clothing bearing a message that the wearer has an important medical condition that might require immediate attention. The tag is often made out of stainless steel or sterling silver. The intention is to alert a paramedic, physician, emergency department personnel or other first responders (emergency medical services, community first responder, Emergency medical responder) of the condition even if the wearer is not conscious enough, old enough, or too injured to explain. A wallet card with the same information may be used instead of or along with a tag, and a stick-on medical ID tag may be added or used alone.

A type of medic identification alert is the USB medical alert tag, essentially a USB flash drive with capacity to store a great deal of emergency information, including contacts and medical conditions. This information is accessible by any computer with a USB port. However, the practical effectiveness of such a system is limited in many cases by medical computer systems that restrict the use of USB devices which may carry malware. It is also possible that a device carried by an unconscious person may not be their own, or not be up to date, with concomitant risks to health and legal liability of medical personnel.

Another new type of medic identification alert is QR code based medical alert stickers. The QR code on the sticker links to a web service that contains the individual's emergency information. The information is accessed by any first responder or emergency personnel by scanning the QR code by using a smartphone. Since a web service is used to store the information there is normally no limitation of how much information that can be stored.

Mobile payment

Mobile payment (also referred to as mobile money, mobile money transfer, and mobile wallet) generally refer to payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. Instead of paying with cash, cheque, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile to pay for a wide range of services and digital or hard goods.

Although the concept of using non-coin-based currency systems has a long history, it is only recently that the technology to support such systems has become widely available.

Mobile payment is being adopted all over the world in different ways.

The first patent exclusively defined "Mobile Payment System" was filed in 2000. In 2008, the combined market for all types of mobile payments was projected to reach more than $600 billion globally by 2013, which would be double the figure as of February 2011.

The mobile payment market for goods and services, excluding contactless payments using near field communication (NFC) and money transfers, is expected to exceed $300 billion globally by 2013. Investment on mobile money services is expected to grow by 22.2% during the next two years across the globe.

It will result in revenue share of mobile money reaching up to 9% by 2018. Asia and Africa will observe significant growth for mobile money with technological innovation and focus on interoperability emerging as prominent trends by 2018.In developing countries mobile payment solutions have been deployed as a means of extending financial services to the community known as the "unbanked" or "underbanked", which is estimated to be as much as 50% of the world's adult population, according to Financial Access' 2009 Report "Half the World is Unbanked".

These payment networks are often used for micropayments. The use of mobile payments in developing countries has attracted public and private funding by organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development and Mercy Corps.

Mobile payments are becoming a key instrument for PSPs and other market participants, in order to achieve new growth opportunities, according to the European Payments Council (EPC). The EPC states that "new technology solutions provide a direct improvement to the operations efficiency, ultimately resulting in cost savings and in an increase in business volume".

Mobile tagging

Mobile tagging is the process of providing data read from tags for display on mobile devices, commonly encoded in a two-dimensional barcode, using the camera of a camera phone as the reader device. The contents of the tag code is usually a URL for information addressed and accessible through Internet.

Mobile ticketing

Mobile ticketing is the process whereby customers can order, pay for, obtain and/or validate tickets using mobile phones, with out the need of a physical ticket. A mobile ticket contains a unique ticket verification (QR code). Mobile tickets reduce the production and distribution costs connected with traditional paper-based ticketing channels and increase customer convenience by providing new and simple ways to purchase tickets. People will not worry about losing a ticket or realizing left tickets at home when arrive at the venue.Mobile tickets should not be confused with E-Tickets (electronic tickets) which are used by airlines since 1994, they can be sent by e-mail, printed and shown at the check-in desk at the airport to obtain a boarding pass.Many train and bus operators in Europe have created phone apps in which tickets can be bought and stored. These include but are not limited to SJ, DSB, NSB, DB and selected local transit authorities.

Munzee

Munzee is a freemium scavenger hunt game where places have to be found in the real world. The game is similar to geocaching but uses QR code technology, in addition to device GPS location, to prove the find instead of a logbook. Launched in Texas in 2011, the game caught on first in Germany, along with California and Michigan. It is now played in more than 188 countries around the world, and there is at least one physical Munzee deployed on every continent, including Antarctica.The places are marked by other players using QR codes, which are hidden and often printed on weatherproof stickers. The places can also be marked by a NFC tag. These stickers are called Munzees. Both the finding and the hiding players receive points for deploying and finding Munzees. The QR codes on the Munzees are read by means of a smartphone app for iOS, Android or Windows.

The coordinates of the Munzees as well as the data of the players are managed via the central web platform.

Virtual Munzees are also available for purchase. These also appear in app lists and on maps, and they are "captured" by locating the app device within 300 feet of the designated location. The device must also be within 300 feet of a QR code Munzee to verify "capture."

NETS (company)

Network for Electronic Transfers or more commonly known as NETS; is a Singaporean electronic payment service provider founded in 1985 by a consortium of local banks to establish the debit network and drive the adoption of electronic payments in Singapore. It is owned by DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB).The NETS Group (comprising NETS, BCS and BCSIS) provides a full suite of payments and financial processing services including direct debit and credit payments at point-of-sale (NETS) and online (eNETS), mobile payments (NETSPay), card services (CashCard, FlashPay card), electronic funds transfer (FAST, Paynow, GIRO) and cheque processing services (CTS). NETS is also a member of the Asian Payment Network (APN) and a council member of UnionPay International.

Paytm

Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company, based out of NOIDA SEZ, India.

Paytm is available in 11 Indian languages and offers online use-cases like mobile recharges, utility bill payments, travel, movies, and events bookings as well as in-store payments at grocery stores, fruits and vegetable shops, restaurants, parking, tolls, pharmacies and education institutions with the Paytm QR code. California based PayPal had filed a case against Paytm in the Indian trademark office for using a logo similar to its own on 18 November 2016. As of January 2018, Paytm is valued at $10 billion.As per the company, over 7 million merchants across India use this QR code to accept payments directly into their bank account. The company also uses advertisements and paid promotional content to generate revenues.

QR code payment

QR code payment is a contactless payment method where a payment is performed by scanning a QR code from a mobile app. This is an alternative to doing electronic funds transfer at point of sale using a payment terminal. This avoids a lot of the infrastructure traditionally associated with electronic payments such as payment cards, payment networks, payment terminal and merchant accounts.

To use a QR code payment the consumers scans the QR code displayed by the merchant with their phones to pay for their goods. They enter the amount they have to pay and finally submit. This is a more secure card-not-present method than others.

QRpedia

QRpedia is a mobile Web-based system which uses QR codes to deliver Wikipedia articles to users, in their preferred language. QR codes can easily be generated to link directly to any Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), but the QRpedia system adds further functionality. It is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Wikimedia UK (WMUK).

QRpedia was conceived by Roger Bamkin, a Wikipedia volunteer, coded by Terence Eden, and unveiled in April 2011. It is currently in use at museums and other institutions in countries including Australia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Macedonia, Spain, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ukraine and the United States. The project's source code is freely reusable under the MIT License.

SPARQCode

A SPARQCode is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) encoding standard that is based on the physical QR Code definition created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave.

The Jester (hacktivist)

The Jester (also known by the leetspeak handle th3j35t3r) is an unidentified computer vigilante who describes himself as a grey hat hacktivist. He claims to be responsible for attacks on WikiLeaks, 4chan, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Islamist websites. He claims to be acting out of American patriotism. The Jester uses a denial-of-service (DoS) tool known as "XerXeS", that he claims to have developed. One of The Jester's habits is to tweet "TANGO DOWN" on Twitter whenever he purports to have successfully taken down a website.

Windows Live Barcode

Windows Live Barcode (codenamed Confucius) was a part of Microsoft's Windows Live services. It allowed users to transfer information between various media (PCs, billboards, magazines etc.) and handsets via Quick Response Code (QR Code), a two-dimensional matrix barcode. It provided a method for people to exchange information and use various online services on handsets.Windows Live Barcode aimed to enhance mobile handset utility and provide users with more convenience and flexibility. It was to be integrated with the Windows Mobile platform.

The Windows Live Barcode service consists of two elements:

Online tools to generate barcodes for business contact cards or personal messages (450 character limit)

A mobile scanning application to read QR codes into a Windows Mobile handsetBarcodes generated are saved as PNG images.

Linear barcodes
Post office barcodes
2D barcodes (stacked)
2D barcodes (matrix)
Polar coordinate barcodes
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Technological issues
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