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Tech Blog - Quick Response Code

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A QR code, or Quick Response Code, is a specific type of barcode that utilized to transmit required information when the need of sharing those information occurred. It is a matrix barcode consists of black and white squares, which can be functioned as a “paper-based hyperlink” and generated easily by the creating tools. QR code can be scanned by a compatible reader or other usual mobile devices nowadays, for instance smartphones and tablets with cameras. Once the scanning is completed, the available information provided by the code maker can be shared freely and easily through the built link among those devices.

Although there are different kinds of application of QR codes through the education and social network mobile applications, the most important and developable area we focus on today is the mobile payment system established by the QR code technology. After installed digital wallet applications like Alipay and WeChat on the mobile devices, people can processing real-time money trading by scanning receivers’ code and enter the transaction amount, or managing their account balance just like using the physical wallet but much more faster. With all those benefits, mobile payment has become the trend in Asia, especially China. Meanwhile, the mobile payment market in western countries didn’t grow as expected during the last four years. But big-brand technology companies such as Amazon and Spotify are trying to expand their business by providing products with QR Code, which might be considered as a breakthrough and innovation in the QR Code product chain.

It is quite obvious that convenience and safety are considered as the core competency of QR Code based services. But only half of the them became the real advantage for this emerging information technology. Just as information economics described, QR Code can be easily copied, which makes related scams more frequently. It was reported that $13 million has been stolen in QR Code scams in China’s most populated province. That is sarcastic since the industry is being made to develop better security. In that case, there are three different ways to eliminate the risk of QR Code scams from my personal perspective.

In the first place, technology providers need to strengthen the security of personal QR Code, especially the codes related with financial transactions. A good example for this is the payment codes generated by digital wallet applications (Alipay, WeChat etc.) now change in every 60 seconds, which makes theft more unlikely.

Secondly, code owners and scanners need to pay more attention on the codes they are about to use. A QR Code on a sharing bike can sometimes be replaced by a scammer with his own money-receiving code or a decrypt code. By scanning the code, we can either make cash transaction to him or making our own information vulnerable, which is why we should be extreme careful before scanning a unfamiliar code.



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