Facts Everyone Should Know About QR And Sound Payments In UAE

  • December 06, 2021

QR codes and sound-based payment systems are two recent technologies that have entered the public sphere. Even though they are being widely used to make transactions all over the world, not many people know about them or how they work.

If you want to know more about QR codes and sound-based payment systems, keep reading.

What is QR Code Payment?

QR stands for Quick Response. QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that contain specific information. These codes are used to store data such as contact details, images, and payment information.  These codes can be easily scanned using smartphone cameras and therefore provide easier and faster access to the desired information in comparison to typing details.

Recently, QR codes have become a popular way of making payments. This method of transaction functions as a regular Point of Sale (POS) terminal. This way, anyone can easily complete payment on the spot by simply scanning a QR code using their smartphone camera.

These QR codes store information on both the payment provider and the merchant. Once the code is scanned by the camera, a push notification comes up. This leads the payment provider to a screen where they can input the payment details and complete the transaction.  

What is Sound-Based Payment?

Sound-based payment is a technology that allows you to make contactless payments using sound waves. These sound-based payment systems function on the basis of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. It is a high-frequency and short-range technology that allows the wireless exchange of data between devices.

Sound-based payment does not depend upon a specific platform and doesn’t require any hardware either. It allows one to make payments on a variety of devices ranging from POS terminals, smartphones, feature phones, and card swipe machines.

In sound-based payment systems, the customer interacts with the seller by initiating the payment. The seller then accepts this offer for a transaction. This interaction results in a transfer of payment using sound frequencies, which can be both audible and inaudible.

However, in order for this transaction to take place, it’s important that both devices are NFC-enabled. That is because a device can only assist in performing monetary transactions if it’s NFC-enabled.   

Difference Between QR Codes and NFC Tags

QR codes and NFC tags are similar technologies because they both provide means for contactless payments. They’re also fast and easy ways of making transactions.

However, they both have their differences. NFC tags are faster compared to QR codes. The payment maker just needs to wave their phone near an NFC tag area to make an instant payment. This is different from how payments are made using QR codes. With QR codes, one needs to open a scanner, hover over the code, wait for the scanner to detect it, analyze it and then lead to the required page to make the transaction.     

On the other hand, QR codes are more widely available compared to sound-based payment options. This is because QR scanners are present in almost every smartphone while there’s a considerably fewer number of phones that can interact with NFC tags.

QR and Sound Payments in UAE

Payments through QR codes and sound are quickly becoming common in the UAE. payit mobile wallet was created to be the first QR-based payment system in the UAE. Today, it’s also the region’s first sound-based payment system too.

It is accessible to all users with a valid Emirates ID/Cell number. Residents of the UAE can make use of this system irrespective of what bank they are associated with. They can also avail it even if they aren’t affiliated with any bank. Our e-wallet is multifunctional and versatile in nature. It proves to be useful in more than one way. 

For instance, residents of the UAE can instantly send and receive money at any time of the day through their e-wallet. They can also pay bills and make payments through merchant partner apps and websites using QR codes or sound payment systems affiliated with their e-wallet. The system is also very versatile as its services can be availed at more than 1500 outlets across UAE.

Cash is transferred to payit e-wallet through various means. It can either be transferred from a person’s bank account, or the wallet can be topped up using any debit card or prepaid card that has been issued in the UAE.

Users’ access to sound-based payments and payments based on QR codes is becoming more accessible in the UAE. Payments can be made through these means at Point of Sales (POS) machines, Payment on Departure (POD) devices, electronic cash registers, and mobile phones of merchants.

One of the main objectives of initiatives involving QR-based and sound-based payments is to convert the UAE into a cashless economy that primarily completes money transactions through digital means.

Pros of QR and Sound Payment

QR codes and sound-based payment have numerous benefits. Below are a few pros of using QR codes or sound-based methods for payment.

1.      Safety 

QR codes and sound-based payment are two of the safest methods for making payments.

QR Codes

QR codes offer two layers of security:

  • Debit/Credit Card: When you make a payment using a QR code, it goes through a card network like Mastercard or Visa. This ensures a stable and secure transaction.
  • Tokenization: Payments made through QR codes are tokenized and encrypted. This means that no personal and payment details are stored with the merchant.

Both these layers make it extremely difficult for thieves to steal information. Therefore, using QR codes helps maintain user privacy and makes the user less likely to be a victim of any theft or fraud.

Sound-Based Payment

Sound-based payments are also one of the safest means of monetary transactions. As discussed previously, this system utilizes NFC technology. This technology has extremely secure channels and encrypts sensitive information like credit card numbers.

Encoding and locking are two major features of this technology. Encoded data can be locked to protect unwanted access to private and sensitive information. Moreover, users can further enhance security by using passwords and installing anti-virus apps.

2.      Versatile

Both methods of payment are extremely versatile. They can be used to ensure a transaction with card swipe machines, smartphones, feature phones, point of sale devices, and payment on departure machines due to being compatible with all these gadgets.

3.      Time-Saving

QR codes and sound-based payment systems help save time. They both allow for quick and seamless payment transactions. This is especially helpful when it comes to shopping.

Waiting in long lines to make payment is one of the biggest issues in shopping. However, by using contactless payment methods, one can speed up the process and create a system of instant payments and checkouts.

Cons of QR and Sound Payment

While QR codes and sound-based payment systems have numerous benefits, they still have some cons worth considering. A few of these shortcomings are mentioned below.

1.      Scam Risks

When QR codes are scanned, you have no idea where the code might lead you. Although most QR codes are trustworthy, others can lead to problematic sites or install viruses in your phone. Unfortunately, you cannot know what a QR code is linked to until you are already exposed to it.

2.      Linkage to Phones

Payments using QR codes and sound-based systems are mostly carried out through smartphones. While this is a good thing considering how readily available smartphones are, they can have their drawbacks.

For example, you cannot make payments using your sound-based system unless your phone is NFC-capable. In case you forget your phone at home, or it runs out of battery, you will not be able to make any transactions.

The same is true for QR codes which cannot be scanned unless the phone has a scanner and sufficient battery. A low battery can result in the transaction process being slowed down.

Final Thoughts

QR codes and sound-based payment systems are becoming more prevalent in the UAE. We can expect to see them being used more and more, especially with the advent of applications such as payit which provides them for both consumers and merchants who would like to apply them on their online stores. The use of QR codes and sound-based technology may eventually give rise to a cashless economy in the UAE, where all business and sales transactions are made digitally.