QR code payments have seen significant global growth, with a surge in usage during the COVID-19 pandemic. As transactions became more contactless, QR codes emerged as a convenient and secure payment method. This article explores the increasing adoption of QR code payments in Sri Lanka and its potential for a cashless society.
The Global Impact of QR Code Payments
QR code usage has experienced a remarkable increase worldwide, with a 443% rise in scans and a 438% increase in generation for 2022. This surge was particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, as most transactions shifted to contactless methods. The top 10 countries with the highest scanning activity during the first quarter of 2022 included Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, India, France, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. Notably, four Asian countries ranked within the top 10, indicating a growing trend in QR code usage in the region.
QR Code Payments in Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, QR code payments have gained traction through the Lanka QR platform, which acts as an interoperable QR code for mobile payments. Over 20 financial institutions and merchant acquirers in Sri Lanka utilize the Lanka QR mode of payment for various transactions, including bill payments, retail payments, online transactions, and point-of-sale transactions. The Lanka QR code accepts different payment modes, including VISA, MasterCard, Union Pay, and popular e-wallets like Ali Pay and WeChat Pay.
However, despite the availability and convenience of QR code payments, cash remains the preferred method of payment for many Sri Lankans, especially in small shops and grocery stores. The limited adoption of QR code payments can be attributed to low consumer awareness and familiarity with digital technology, as well as concerns about privacy and security.
Factors Influencing QR Code Adoption
To encourage the adoption and usage of QR code payments in Sri Lanka, it is essential to address various factors that influence consumer behavior. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology 2 (UTAUT2) provides valuable insights into the key determinants of behavioral intention and usage of QR code payments.
Factors such as performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions play crucial roles in shaping consumers’ attitudes towards QR code payments. Performance expectancy refers to the belief that using QR code payments will enhance job performance, while effort expectancy relates to the perceived ease of use. Social influence represents the influence of significant others in promoting QR code usage, and facilitating conditions refer to the presence of supporting infrastructure.
The Role of Trust and Risk Perception
Trust and risk perception are also vital considerations in QR code adoption. Consumers may hesitate to adopt QR code payments due to concerns about personal information security and privacy breaches. Establishing trust and ensuring the security of transactions can help alleviate these concerns and increase consumer confidence in QR code payments.
Implications for Sri Lankan Banking and Retail Industries
The growing popularity of QR code payments presents opportunities for banks, mobile app developers, and businesses in Sri Lanka. By focusing on enhancing the perceived usefulness and ease of use of QR code payment apps, developers can encourage greater adoption among consumers. Banks and financial institutions should also educate customers about the benefits and security measures associated with QR code payments through social media and other platforms.
As contactless payments gain momentum, businesses can benefit from integrating tap-to-pay technologies, which offer faster and more secure transactions. By embracing QR code payments, Sri Lanka can move closer to realizing its vision of a cashless society and improved digital financial inclusion.
In conclusion, QR code payments have experienced rapid growth globally, and Sri Lanka has the potential to leverage this technology for a more efficient and convenient payment ecosystem. With the right strategies and awareness campaigns, QR code payments can become the preferred payment method for Sri Lankans, facilitating a smooth transition towards a cashless society.