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Eftpos to launch QR-code payments: What does it mean for retailers?

Eftpos is partnering with banks, big retailers and fintech to allow consumers to pay using QR codes, and while this could be good news for small businesses too, industry groups say “the devil is in the detail”.

The EQR payments platform is being rolled out in partnership with Commonwealth Bank and NAB, as well as with fintechs Azupay, Beem It and Merchant Warrior. Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths are also on board as first adopters.

According to an Eftpos media release, the new tech will provide “better, simpler, data-rich payments experiences” for consumers, offering more options and efficiency in the checkout process.

The EQR platform is expected to be rolled out before Christmas.

Partnering with fintechs is intended to help drive further innovation, encouraging more participation from merchants in more sectors, including online entertainment, fast food, and even charitable donations.

“We expect EQR will quickly become the QR equivalent of eftpos Tap & Pay on debit cards,” Eftpos chief executive Stephen Benton said in a statement.

What do QR-code payments mean for SMEs?

Speaking to SmartCompany, Alexi Boyd, chief executive of the Council of Small Business Australia (Cosboa), says she welcomes anything that could get small businesses paid faster.

When it comes to payments services, the hardest part is the implementation. If this new technology is made easy for businesses to integrate into their current systems, and genuinely makes it easier for SMEs to serve customers, then that’s good news.

But as always, “the devil is in the detail”, she says.

As it stands, we don’t have much detail about how this tech could be rolled out to small businesses, or what costs will be involved in implementing and using it. It is also unclear if there will be additional fees for businesses.

While QR code technology has been around for some years, the Covid-19 pandemic has driven familiarity with them among the general public, as they have been the default way to check in to locations.

The pandemic has also altered customer behaviour more broadly, leading to more activity in e-commerce, and more uptake of buy-now, pay-later products, suggesting consumers are becoming more accustomed to technology as they shop.

This shift means SMEs have had to adapt, Boyd explains. It’s important for business owners to stay on top of how customers want to pay. Often, if there is too much friction in the payment process, or if the customer finds it too difficult, “they just walk away from the sale”.

Boyd stresses again that what is important here is that the new EQR code technology is easy for small businesses to offer to their customers.

“It’s all about that implementation and how to plug it into existing systems.”

This story originally appeared on SmartCompany, and has been republished with permission.

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