55+ QR Code Usage Statistics 2024: Latest Facts and Insights [Updated]

Update:  June 19, 2024
55+ QR Code Usage Statistics 2024: Latest Facts and Insights [Updated]

QR codes have been hailed all over the globe as “the comeback kid.” These matrix barcodes take users virtually anywhere online when scanned with a smartphone’s camera or a scanning device.

The QR code dates back to 1994 but gained prominence in 2020 as the world switched to a contactless lifestyle as a preventive measure against COVID-19.

There was a significant boost in QR code usage statistics during this period, as the world discovered the potential use of QR codes in streamlining daily transactions and promotions.

And now, four years after the last of the government-mandated lockdowns, it is now up to the world to decide: are QR codes still relevant today?

The latest QR code statistics show that QR codes are here to stay.

What are QR codes, and how do they really work?

QR codes, or quick response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that can contain various information. They’re smart optical data carriers that can store links, files, images, audio, videos, and more.

Using a QR code generator online, you can easily convert data into a smartphone-scannable code for instant access and easy information sharing.

Due to tadvancements through the years, these tiny pixels can facilitate various transactions such as payments, website access, mobile-first advertising, and more.

You don’t need any special equipment with QR codes. Just get your smartphone out of your pocket, scan them using the Camera or QR scanner apps, and information is readily available at your fingertips.

How are they different from 1D barcodes?

QR code vs barcode

There are different barcode types that exist. Among the 13 common barcodes, UPC codes (1D barcodes) and QR codes (2D barcodes) are the most popular.

The traditional 1D barcodes are linear barcodes that can hold up to 85 characters. And since they are linear, they can only be read from left to right.

Meanwhile, 2D barcodes, like QR codes, can hold up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters and 7,089 numeric characters, which is equivalent to 2,953 bytes of data. That’s a lot more capacity than the usual 1D barcode.

Also, QR codes are omnidirectional. You can scan, read, or decode them using your smartphone in any direction.

The beginning of the QR code journey

QR code history

It all started in 1994, when a Japanese team at Denso Wave was tasked with creating a barcode for easier tracking of automobile parts during the manufacturing and production process. 

These ingenious QR codes aimed to surpass traditional barcodes’ constraints by offering significantly increased data capacity and faster readability. 

In 2000, QR codes were recognized by the ISO International Standards, which established them as a globally accepted barcode format. This opened the door to widespread adoption across industries.

The very first mobile phone with a built-in QR code scanner was invented in 2002. That phone is the SHARP J-SH09, which was released in Japan. Third-party QR code reader apps then emerged, making scanning accessible to everyone. 

About a decade later, 4G cellular technologies were introduced, paving the way for faster access to mobile internet and accelerating more user-responsive technologies. 

The first notable advancement of QR codes occurred in 2010 in the US. Best Buy electronic retailers used QR codes to give shoppers seamless access to product details.

Following that breakthrough was the appearance of the QR Droid by Android in 2011. The scanner app uses the phone’s camera to decrypt monochrome squares and lead users to the embedded content.

This demonstrated the potential of smartphones for real-time information retrieval and initiated the development of other scanning applications, including the QR BARCODE SCANNER and QR Reader, which were released for iOS. 

Other significant advancements were made in 2014, highlighting Denso Wave's release of Frame QR codes. This propelled the integration of QR codes with design elements without compromising their scannability. 

Brand logos and decorative elements were added around standard QR codes, which were mainly used in marketing to attract customers. 

There was an upsurge in QR code usage when the airline industry started using them for boarding passes. Between the years 2015 and 2019, the amount of boarding passes downloaded on mobile phones doubled from 0.75 billion to 1.5 billion. 

This represents a substantial rise in the adoption of mobile technology for air travel, making the travel experience more memorable and convenient.

The major turning point of QR codes transpired during the COVID-19 pandemic when contactless payments became essential to execute social distancing.

In the years 2020 and 2021, the versatility of QR codes increased by nearly 50 percent in the way customers used them to pay for goods and services without having to touch cash or card readers. This offered a safe and efficient payment option during that time. 

Years later, QR codes were seen in marketing campaigns across multiple industries.

Businesses use QR codes to provide exclusive offers, website access, contactless menus, event ticketing, engaging customers in creative campaigns, and more.

The world will continue to see rapid growth and progression in QR code usage until 2025, as brands and businesses of all sizes continue to use the technology to bridge the gap between in-person and online interactions.

By the numbers: QR code statistics overview

QR code statistics

QR code scans reached 26.95 million in 2023—a 433% increase over the past two years

QR TIGER QR Code Generator latest QR code statistics report revealed a whopping 26.95 million scans all over the world from all channels.

Smartphone usage is the primary catalyst of the QR code upsurge. This year, there are 7.1 billion global smartphone users, which indicates a demand for mobile-first technology like QR codes.

Dynamic QR codes generated by users accumulated a total of 6,825,842 QR code scans from global users—a 433-percent increase over 2021 figures.

Based on SourceWeb’s database, here are the top 10 countries with the highest scanning activity:

United States – 38.17%

India – 9.11%

Mexico – 3.90%

France – 3.86%

Spain – 3.14%

Saudi Arabia – 2.75%

Turkey – 2.66%

United Kingdom – 2.10%

Russia – 1.95%

Canada – 1.63%

Benjamin Claeys, QR TIGER founder and CEO, however, clarifies: “We can see that most of our customers come from the United States, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not used in other countries.”

“I think there are many other countries where QR codes are used a lot.

They might use a lot of static QR codes instead of dynamic ones. I do believe QR codes are definitely happening everywhere right now.”

50 countries with the highest scan rates contribute a 57% increase in global QR code scans

With the increasing number of smartphone users and the trend toward mobile-first marketing, QR code scan rates have grown significantly, reaching 57 percent across 50 countries.

The United States continues to be the number one contributor to QR code scans worldwide, with 25 million scans recorded. 

Statista reports that approximately 89 million smartphone users in the US scanned QR codes using their devices in 2022—a 26% increase from 2020. It is expected to grow to 16 million users more by 2025.

Meanwhile, the UK (10 million), Australia (8.7 million), Canada (1.7 million), and Saudi Arabia (1.2 million) continue to secure their place as the top countries with the highest scan rates. Puerto Rico has also joined the list with 500,000 scans.

47% year-on-year QR code generation growth

Along with the upsurge of QR code scans is the notable rise in QR code generation, marking a 47% increase year-on-year across all countries.

In terms of QR code generation, there are 8 QR codes generated per minute—a notable QR code usage rate.

The most popular QR code solutions

Based on QR TIGER’s updated QR code statistics report, here are the 10 most widely used QR code solutions:

  1. URL – 47.68%
  2. File – 23.71%
  3. vCard – 13.08%
  4. Link in Bio (Social media) – 3.40%
  5. MP3 – 3.39%
  6. Landing page (HTML) – 2.98%
  7. App Store – 1.17%
  8. Google form – 1.02%
  9. Menu – 0.99%
  10. Text – 0.71%

From the QR code usage statistics shown, 47.68% percent of the total dynamic QR codes created using a custom QR code generator online are URL QR codes, which only makes sense since QR codes are primarily used for redirecting users to web links.

File QR code comes in second place with 23.71%, followed by the vCard QR code (digital business card) QR solution at 13.08%.

The remaining 1.86% consists of the following QR code generator solutions:

  • Bulk
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Multi URL
  • Text

Multi URL

The multi URL QR code is among the unique solutions. Using this technology, each user can access different links depending on particular parameters such as:

  • Location
  • Number of scans
  • Time
  • Language

Claeys remains steadfast in terms of the potential of multi URL QR codes. “We recently helped VeeFriends, an NFT project by Gary Vaynerchuk,” he shares.

“They needed a multi URL QR code solution that would generate a different link every time a user scanned it.”

“I do believe that our multi URL QR code would become more and more popular, together with the advanced features of our dynamic QR codes,” Claeys adds.

There's no doubt that QR code technology will be the next big thing in the next few years from now. With the fast advancement, everyone can access its impressive features, whether it's for personal or business use.

2024 QR code facts & QR code insights you should know [55+ latest QR code statistics]

QR codes are more than just a way to access websites. Here are some cool facts and general statistics you might not know:

Part 1: General QR code statistics overview

QR code creation rate: 8 QR codes generated per minute

QR code creation rateToday, 8 customized QR codes are created in one minute—clear evidence of the upsurge in QR code usage.

QR TIGER’s QR code trend report revealed a 47 percent growth in QR code usage year on year.

We can see more brands are starting their QR code journey, including Hershey’s, Pepsi, Burger King, and McDonald’s.

Now, there are about 20 need-specific QR code solutions that exist online. This allows businesses to use QR codes for various purposes.

47.68% of QR code users use URL QR codes

Most used QR code solution

Based on QR TIGER’s full QR code statistics report, a URL QR code is the most in-demand QR code solution across the globe, with a 47.68 percent share of the pie.

This number tells us that almost half of the global population knows that they can use QR codes to store URLs or website links, leading scanners to different pages online. No wonder it’s the most popular QR solution.

Meanwhile, File QR code (23.71%) and vCard QR code (13.08%) come second and third on the list, respectively.

Why do people scan QR codes

QR code user statistics

BlueBite’s QR code scan report revealed the number of people scanning QRs for different purposes. Their statistics show the following:

  • 39% scan QR codes out of curiosity
  • 36% scan QR codes to redeem a coupon or incentive
  • 30% want to learn more about the product
  • 28% want to understand how to use the product

QR codes with frames and call-to-action get 80% more scans

QR code with logo

QR code experts say that customized QR codes are 80% more effective than regular, generic-looking QR codes.

One of the major purposes of QR code customization is credibility and trust. So, it’s not just about looking attractive to the public.

The logo and colors add identity to QR codes, which attracts more scanners as they can easily know where they come from. It adds a sense of security to the scanners as well. Trust is vital for people to use them more.

Plus, the call to action gives a clear direction to the public on what to do with your QR, which is extremely helpful for those who aren’t yet familiar with this technology.

91% of iOS devices, 86% of Android users have built-in QR scanners

Mobile QR code scanner

Back in 2002, the first mobile phone with QR code scanning hit the scene, but it didn’t really catch on until the late 2010s.

In 2018, Apple threw in a built-in scanner for iPhones, and Android 9.0 did the same.

Nowadays, a whopping 91 percent of iPhone users have models from 2017 onwards, all with their own built-in scanner. Eighty-six percent of Android users with OS 9.0 or higher come with a built-in QR scanner via Google Lens.

48% of Americans use QR codes several times a month

Americans use QR code

Statistics from Scantrust revealed that most Americans use and scan QR codes.

Forty-eight percent use and scan QR codes several times in a month. Meanwhile, thirty-one percent use them once a month, and 22 percent use them several times a week.

This report clearly shows that the majority of respondents engage with QR codes on a monthly and weekly basis. These numbers tell us that QR codes have become a mainstream tool. 

That’s why it’s crucial for businesses to adapt this technology to cater to QR code user consumers.

80% of US users trust QR codes

Secure QR codeRecent data on QR codes shows that approximately 80 percent of US users think QR codes are safe to use. 

Meanwhile, about 20 percent are unsure if QR codes are safe or not. This tells us that there’s a bit of uncertainty or lack of confidence among some people.

To close this gap, it’s important that businesses use a secure QR code generator and create customized, branded, secure QR codes.

Part 2: QR code upsurge in COVID-19

QR code downloads skyrocketed during the pandemic

QR code trends

We saw a 750-percent increase in downloads prompted by QR codes in the first quarter of 2020 and the last quarter of 2021.

Businesses embraced QR codes to create interactive experiences, give additional product information, and share coupons. Its use has even transcended education, logistics, entertainment, and more, further driving its popularity.

Heightened use of QR codes remained after the pandemic

QR code facts

The general public has expressed their willingness to continue using QR codes even after the end of the pandemic.

Restaurants, businesses, public institutions, and governments used QR codes for diverse objectives, pushing its widespread exposure. This has then normalized the use of QR codes beyond immediate pandemic needs.

Asia as the undisputed leader in QR Payments during the COVID-19 pandemic

QR paymentMany Asian governments actively incorporated QR code payments to reduce the use of cash and contact-based transactions.

QR codes offered a touchless alternative to cash and cards, fitting perfectly with health concerns during that time. 

The pandemic significantly boosted the use of QR codes, especially in countries like China, India, and Singapore, with value and volume witnessing phenomenal growth. 

The rise and growth of QR code-related search volume during the pandemic

QR code insights

The rising trend of QR codes has played a significant role in its popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes us wonder, "How many QR codes are there?"

Businesses have shown interest in this advanced tool, which established a demand for touchless solutions to minimize physical contact. 

Popular QR-related searches include “health QR codes” and “QR menu,” which fueled its adoption. QR codes were used for vaccination certificates or health passes, as well as contactless ordering and payment.

Verification of EU digital COVID-19 certificates using QR codes

QR code certificate

After the availability of COVID-19 vaccines in Europe, authorities and enterprises obligated the public to have a vaccination certificate for unrestricted mobility. 

These unique QR codes hold information about an individual’s vaccination, testing, and recovery status for secure verification. This resulted in seamless travel and establishment entry.

Part 3: QR code usage around the world

QR code scans quadrupled in 2024

QR code statistics report

According to QR TIGER’s latest statistics reports, global scans have quadrupled in 2024, reaching 26.95 million scans. Dynamic QR codes created by users garnered a total of 6,825,842 scans.

This heightened number of scans across the globe tells us that more and more people are positive toward QR code technology.

95.7% of Chinese users prefer the QR code payment method

China QR code

QR codes play an integral part in China’s daily life. Their integration with super-apps like WeChat and Alipay has made it convenient for them to process transactions. 

This growth has transitioned to having built-in QR code scanners in their messaging apps. Using smartphones, users can quickly scan a merchant’s QR code and pay for goods and services.

Besides their streamlined payment processes, the broad implementation of QR codes in China has boosted their e-commerce and improved information access. 

Chinese QR codes scanned 113.6 million times in just 1 month

QR code scan statisticsWhen we talk about QR codes, China is hailed as the catalyst of the growth of this technology. Although Japan started QR codes, China has been quick to catch on.

Far back in 2013, they were already immensely using QR codes. In just a month, there were 113.6 million QR scans recorded in China alone.

Chinese users engage with QR codes 10-15 times a day

QR code engagementFor decades, QR codes have been the norm in China. It’s basically everywhere—transportation, education, food, housing, clothing, and entertainment.

According to GoClick China, estimates show that Chinese users use and engage with QR codes 10-15 times on a daily basis.

At this rate, there’s no wonder that QR codes are ingrained in their daily lives and will continue to be a ubiquitous feature in the coming years around the world as well.

The United States leads worldwide in QR code usage, with a total of 2,880,960 million scans

QR code scan statisticsThis number is quite promising, considering that 89 million smartphone users in the US scanned a QR code, as shown by Statista's recent report.

“The United States is one of the leading countries regarding dynamic QR codes because they’re more market-driven,” says Claeys.

The US saw a switch from physical or paper menus to digital menus powered by QR codes.

In a National Restaurant Association report, 58 percent of adults surveyed say they are more likely to access a menu QR code on their phones.

TouchBistro’s annual report reveals that seven in ten restaurants opt to implement mobile payment and QR codes.

Significant increase in QR code usage across Latin America

Latin america QR code usageLatin America has experienced a major shift in its payment landscape, with over 110 million QR code payments made in 2022. And Mercado Pago, the largest online payment platform in the region, spearheaded this.

This partnership has been instrumental in promoting contactless payments, gaining a nearly 150-percent increase in the use of QR codes in 2022. Latin America’s QR code payment landscape continues to advance in the coming years. 

82% of US consumers say QR codes will become a permanent part of using their phones

Consumer QR code surveyMost US consumers aged 18–44 strongly agree that QR codes will stay permanently as part of their daily lives.

The recent data from YouGov and The Drum tells us that 75 percent of US adults are willing to use QR codes in the future.

Meanwhile, 64 percent of consumers older than 45 are willing to use them in the future as they are less confident in the idea that QR codes will remain relevant in the coming years.

59% of US respondents believe QR codes will be permanent

QR code survey statistics

This can be traced back to the continued and expanding use of QR codes across all dimensions of our lives. 

Apart from its use in payments, we have seen its impact in product packaging and information, restaurant menus, digital business cards, ticketing, and even in real estate tours, putting forward long-term value.

India places second, with a total of 1,101,723 million scans

India QR code usageIt’s no surprise that 40 percent of the Indian population is familiar with and uses QR codes.

The country has adopted QR codes on train tickets and even launched BharatQR, a QR code-based payment solution for digital person-to-merchant payments.

The Economic Times also revealed in an article that QR codes are present almost everywhere in India, from textile industries and restaurants to non-profit organizations.

Increased QR code adoption in France with a 51.14% upsurge

France QR code usageQR TIGER’s QR code full statistics report clearly shows an upsurge in QR code adoption in France with an aggregate of 3.86 percent scan increase.

In fact, France ranks fourth among the top countries with the most QR code scan frequency.

These numbers tell us that more and more people are discovering the potential of QR codes in France. This is due to pandemic-related factors, consumer acceptance, and versatility across various industries.

61% of Japanese consumers have scanned a QR code

Japan QR code usageAlthough QR codes were invented in Japan nearly 30 years ago, 39 percent of Japanese consumers have never scanned a QR code.

Quite ironic as it is, but Ivanti’s 2021 study revealed that QR code usage is relatively low in Japan.

In their study, an interesting fact was revealed: only 41 percent of the respondents agreed that QR codes simplify transactions and foster a safe contactless world.

The number of mobile QR code scanners is constantly growing in the US

Global QR code scanners

Based on BankMyCell mobile user statistics in 2024, there are 6.93 billion mobile phone users across the globe.

According to Statista statistics report, approximately 89 million smartphone users have used QR code scanners and have scanned QR codes in the United States alone in 2023, marking a 20 million increase from the previous year.

This figure is projected to exceed 100 million by the end of the year 2025.

Compared to 2020 figures, it is higher by 26 percent. This figure will continue to rise until the end of 2024. Their report clearly shows that the figure will reach 100 million in 2025.

Part 4: QR code users by demographic profile

57% female, 43% male are QR code users

QR code demographics

Based on this finding, it’s clear that women are mostly using QR codes. There are a number of factors that influence this. One of which is that women drive 70 to 80 percent of purchasing decisions.

When getting on board with QR code technology, it’s important to take note of this gender gap to make better consumer connections.

54% of young adults scan marketing-related QR codes in the US

Marketing QR code statisticsMarketing Charts 2021 report revealed that 54 percent of young adults aged 18-29 are the most likely to scan marketing QR codes in the US alone.

Their report also revealed the following:

  • 48% of 30–44-year-old consumers scanned marketing QR code
  • 44% of those aged 45–64 scanned marketing QRs
  • 31% of consumers 65 and over reported having used QR codes

QR code users by household income

Household QR code usageInterestingly, a study found a correlation between household income, smartphone choices, and QR code technology.

In a 2021 survey, it turns out that those who use QR codes often earn between $30,000 and $80,000 annually. Surprisingly, many high earners, making over $100,000 annually, don’t use QR codes much.

Part 5: QR code usage by market & industry

Marketing and advertising obtained a 323% QR code usage growth

QR code usage growthQR TIGER’s latest QR code trend 2024 report revealed the top 5 industries with the most QR code usage. Their QR code scan trend revealed the following industries with the most number of scans:

  • Retail—42%
  • Restaurant—41%
  • Logistics—83%
  • Travel and tourism—210%
  • Marketing and advertising—323%

More than half of US businesses use QR codes for marketing

QR code for business

Brands love using QR codes in their ads because they make people feel more engaged. Instead of just watching boring TV or online ads, you can actually interact with them by scanning the code with your phone.

For example, Vincle, a software company, put QR codes at events and got a whopping 90% more people interested.

And check out PayPay from Japan—they got 15 million new users in just 10 months by letting users sign up with QR codes.

Big industry players like Nike, Google, and Amazon are all about it, too; using QR codes to get people excited and engaged.

88% QR code creation growth year-over-year in the CPG industry

Consumer packaged goods QR code

This upsurge suggests that businesses must heighten their focus on implementing QR-smart interactive packaging not just to improve customer experiences but also to catch up in the competitive market.

Hershey’s, for example, uses QR TIGER’s QR codes to spark consumers’ interest with their new Kisses chocolate packaging gimmick.

75% of consumers scanned a QR code on FMCG products

fmcg QR code statisticsBased on a recent study by Appinio, a market research firm, 75 percent of consumers have scanned QR codes on FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) products.

Additionally, 87 percent of the respondents in the study want to make sure the digital information they accessed through QR codes is accurate.

This study has shown how smart consumers are and how crucial supplementary production information is.

45% of US shoppers scan QR codes

Shopping QR code

They came up with smart ideas, like using QR codes for promotions, as well. Burger King even put QR codes in their TV ads, so if you were able to scan one, you’d score a free Whopper with your next order.

It worked really well, with nearly half of American shoppers scanning these QR codes in the first half of 2021.

41% of US consumers are willing to use QR codes for contactless purchases

QR code contactless purchaseIvanti’s study revealed that 41 percent of US consumers are open to using QR codes for touchless purchases.

This high percentage share suggests a growing acceptance of QR code technology-driven solutions for commercial transactions.

As consumer behavior continues to shift toward touchless, smart purchasing methods, businesses must consider QR codes as an essential tool.

36% of TV audiences scanned shoppable ad QR codes

Tv ad QR codeAccording to a recent survey by the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), about a third of TV viewers have interacted with QR codes in ads, which often leads them to buy stuff, as noted by Aluma Insights.

Besides buying, lots of audiences also click on ads to get info sent to their email or device, with two-thirds saying they’ve done this.

When asked about scanning QR codes from TV ads, Americans were about evenly split between those who have and haven’t, and surprisingly, around five percent said they didn’t know how to do it.

57% of consumers scan QR codes on food packaging

QR code adoption

QR codes on food packaging are very beneficial not only for consumers but for businesses as well. More than half of Canadian consumers scan packaging QR codes to get more specific food information.

These QR codes can also take them to a brand’s website, product or company information, ads or promotions, and more.

Like Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism, they put QR codes on export banana labels. When scanned, it leads to a video and a website inviting the scanner to visit Ecuador.

87% growth in QR code creation in the finance industry

QR code financeCompared to the previous period, an 87 percent growth in QR code creation within the finance industry was spotted.

This tells us that more and more banks recognize the power of QR codes in facilitating quick, seamless, and secure transactions, which is why they’re transitioning to QR-smart banking transactions.

Since QR codes entered the finance industry, the banking experience has never been the same.

The booming industry of the QR payment market

QR code payment marketThe global QR code payment market was valued at $11.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $51.58 billion by 2032. 

This growth fueled the increase in smartphone penetration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers a secure and hassle-free way to pay without physical contact. 

The explosive rise of global QR payment usage

Global QR code payment usage

The payment method surged from 35.35 percent to 83 percent between September 2022 and April 2021. 

The market is ruled by North America and Asia-Pacific, with China being a primary force because of the widespread use of platforms like Alipay and WeChat Pay. 

North America has seen impressive progress, with QR code usage jumping by 11 percent during the pandemic.

Southeast Asia is at the forefront of QR code payment adoption

Southeast asia QR code payment69% of Southeast Asian consumers that were surveyed show interest in QR code-based payments in the coming years. And research indicates a massive rise in the volume of QR payments, with estimates reaching 590-percent growth by 2028. 

Visa states Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines are the five leading countries where QR adoption is widespread in Asia.

This paves the way for seamless cross-border digital payments, further boosting the system. 

Convenience is a major driver behind the development of QR Payments

QR codes in asiaThe main driver of QR codes in payment stems from their zero-contact transaction, especially in the pre-pandemic world, considering that it bypasses the need to carry cash and credit cards. 

Consumers appreciate the QR code payment method’s ease of use and security. With just a QR code scan, they are led to quicker checkout times and improved customer experience and efficiency.

52% of US restaurants pivot to QR code menus

QR code menu

In the US, about half of restaurants started using them once they could open up with restrictions.

Some restaurants even let customers order straight from their phones using a QR code menu to make things easier and safer for everyone.

70% of US restaurants use QR codes for menu and payment

QR code restaurantHere’s a fun fact: 7 in 10 US restaurants are implementing QR codes.

Most restaurants find QR codes to be a smart solution to save money and be eco-friendly. These tiny codes help them achieve a seamless and touchless order-and-pay system.

58% of US customers prefer QR code menus

Menu QR codeSurprisingly, more than half of US customers support QR code menus. According to TouchBistro, 58 percent of the customers prefer to access the digital menu on their mobile phones.

This data suggests a trend towards digital convenience and mobile-first methods for accessing restaurant menus.

32% rise in QR code usage at national banks

National bank QR code

Let’s take Capitec, a bank in South Africa, for instance. They launched Capitec Pay Me in late 2021. It lets customers make quick payments by scanning QR codes. And within a week, 2.5 million customers signed up to give it a try.

QR codes are an effective donation drive tool

QR code for donationCOVID-19 hit charities hard, especially those that relied on face-to-face donations. After an initial boost, contributions dropped.

But here’s the good news: QR codes came to the rescue.

They made donating a breeze by directing folks straight to online donation pages, cutting out the hassle.

In Australia, Donation Point Go’s QR code service helped 700 charities raise over 4 million Aussie dollars, thanks to creative placements like volunteer shirts.

70% of hotels use QR codes for easier reservation

Hotel QR codeHotels are using QR codes more and more to make things easier for guests and staff. Seventy percent of hotels are already on board with this idea, according to the Washington Hospitality Association.

For guests, it means they can breeze through check-in by scanning a code, skipping paperwork, and saving time.

Staff can quickly provide QR codes for things like electronic forms and local info, making everyone’s stay smoother and more enjoyable.

Part 6: QR code risks and challenges

People are unaware of QR codes’ full potential

QR code popularity

In the ever-expanding digital landscape, many people are still clueless about what they can do. This blissful ignorance could be a chance for hackers to make a move.

An interesting finding from Ivanti’s survey revealed the following statistics:

  • 53% know QR codes can store links and open websites
  • 63% know QR codes’ app-downloading capabilities.
  • 76% know they can use QR codes for payment transactions
  • 78% say QR codes can disclose physical location
  • 82% know they can use QR codes to follow someone on social media

By educating and practicing safe scanning habits, we can turn QR codes cyber risk-free for everybody. QR code awareness empowers the public to mobilize their benefits and enjoy the convenience and innovation that QR codes offer.

Why people don’t scan TV ad QR codes

QR code tv ad

A recent survey of US consumers found out why many people hesitate to scan QR codes in TV ads, revealing challenges for marketers.

One big reason is that 20 percent of viewers say the QR codes distract them from the ad itself, showing a problem with how they’re used.

To make QR codes work better on TV, marketers could try making them more prominent in the ad or showing them after viewers have seen the main content.

Only 39% of consumers can identify malicious QR codes

Malicious QR codeBased on a 2021 study conducted by Ivanti, about 39 percent of consumers can identify malicious QR codes. This low number indicates a need for more awareness of QR code technology, especially on QR code risks and security.

The percentage share suggests that the majority of consumers are vulnerable to quishing (QR code phishing) and other QR code scams or cyber threats.

4 out of 5 top results for Bitcoin QR code generators were scams in 2019

QR code scams

We can hardly deny that it’s quite high, indicating a high prevalence of fraudulent activities within the market.

This highlights a significant risk associated with the Bitcoin QR code during 2019, including financial losses and data breaches for users.

36% of German consumers have scanned suspicious QR codes

Suspicious QR codes

Although 51 percent of the respondents claim that they can recognize malicious codes, the high prevalence of falling victim indicates that distinguishing genuine QR codes from malicious ones remains challenging.

This is also the reason why it’s better to use fully customized or branded QR codes with a logo.

Quishing is on the rise, with a 51% increase in incidents in 2023

QuishingReliaQuest’s new study has shown an alarming 51-percent increase in quishing incidents in 2023.

The data shown above suggests a concerning trend in cybercrime, particularly in quishing attacks.

As researchers dive deep, it turns out that 18 percent of these attacks happen on online banking pages, and a staggering 89.3 percent of such attacks aim to steal credentials such as usernames and passwords.

QR code phishing emails also had a startling surge in the same year, with 8,878 cases detected by systems, according to Keepnet Labs.

These alarming figures highlight the importance of heightened awareness, cybersecurity measures, and user vigilance.

Part 7: QR codes in the future

QR codes are a must-have tool in e-commerce

Ecommerce QR codeQR codes started in Asia and have become a big tool for contactless payments there, like in China and Singapore.

If you’re a Western company looking to grow in Asian markets, you better get started with QR codes. Chuck Huang, CEO of Citron, says if you don’t, you could miss out on 80 percent of your customers. That’s a lot of loss there.

Increased contactless commercial activity by 2024

Commercial QR code

They track packages, check products, and help sell stuff in a more effective manner. People use them too, for paying, confirming orders, and getting deals.

So, it’s likely that QR codes will keep booming as we do more touchless transactions.

The QR smart packaging market will grow to $8.6 billion in 2025

QR smart packagingToday, consumers are demanding product transparency, especially in food and cosmetics. And QR codes are the smartest yet cost-saving solution to achieve this and meet their demands.

For interactive and smart packaging, dynamic QR codes can do the trick.

These codes allow businesses to share a lot of information without getting the primary packaging cluttered with details. That’s why experts think the smart packaging market will reach $8.6 billion by 2025.

Global usage of QR code payments is expected to surpass 2 billion users by 2025

Global QR payment usageQR code-based payments are expected to attract millions of users by 2025, with an equivalent of 29 percent of global smartphone users.

According to PYMNTS, convenience, efficiency, and ease of use are the main factors for this growth.

The growth is likely to come from the emerging markets. With this number, we can see a slow growth in the payment market as users take caution against using QR code-based payment transactions. This is due to privacy and cybersecurity concerns.

A promise of future growth in market value with QR code payment

QR code market value

The market value of QR code payments is projected to experience a robust advancement. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5 percent and reach $33.13 billion by 2030.

This Grand View Research report proves the future of QR codes is bright.

The QR code market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.7% between 2021 and 2028

QR code value

In essence, it clearly shows a significant uptrend in QR code usage and market value. It highlights their dominance in various industries and applications.

QR codes will continue to grow, says QR code expert

QR code growthLong story short: QR codes continue to grow in popularity.

The flexible nature of QR technology has led to many innovations that streamlined daily transactions, which is why enterprises now use them to upgrade their services.

Claeys, QR TIGER founder and CEO, believes that the pandemic may have accelerated QR code growth, but it’s not the sole reason for the popularity it’s currently enjoying.

“I do believe QR codes always had a great potential,” Claeys says. “People now see how beneficial and versatile QR codes are, and they actually start to use them.”

For example, restaurants now opt for an interactive restaurant menu QR code software to replace physical menus for their diners’ health and convenience.

Merchants and stores use cashless payment options through QR codes.

On top of that, QR codes today have grown wider in functionality, as they are now useful and effective in marketing campaigns.

As of today, there are about 6.93 billion smartphone users in the world, with 5.60 billion “unique” users.

How does the world use QR codes today?

Global QR code uses

Ever since the pandemic, QR codes have become more functional and are now used for a variety of purposes across several industries. Here are some of today’s QR code trends:

1. Payments

Establishments and retailers have adopted QR codes for payments to make transactions cashless and contactless.

Furthermore, digital wallet apps today allow users to connect their bank accounts.

These apps come with a scan-to-pay feature, providing users a quick and seamless payment method.

A new study by Juniper Research reveals that global spending through QR code payments will reach over $3 trillion by 2025, up by $2.4 trillion in 2022.

The 25-percent increase will be fueled by the rising focus on promoting financial inclusion in developing countries and innovating alternative payment methods in developed regions.

2. Restaurants

Many restaurants switched to menu QR codes after the pandemic for a contactless dining experience.

In an article by CNBC, restaurant tech experts believe that QR codes can open more innovations to improve services delivered by restaurants, such as using a QR code for placing orders.

Square’s report on the Future of Restaurants also reveals that 88 percent of restaurants considered switching to digital menus.

Meanwhile, Hospitality Tech’s report on restaurant technology shows that 92 percent of restaurants have used QR codes as an alternative to physical menus.

Claeys, who also recently launched MENU TIGER, shares: “We’ve already seen several countries that have interactive menus where people can actually click on items, order them, pay them, and get them delivered to their table.”

“This was the solution that was laying there, and we needed to enter that space because many customers had already come to us for that solution.”

“We took a step further and actually made an interactive menu QR code system that can be linked to a point of sales system and everything else they have within their restaurant,” he continues.

3. Hotels

Reopened after the pandemic, they continued to use QR codes which are now also used to streamline their services.

Most hotels now have QR codes for check-ins and room reservations, customer feedback, and advertisements.

They can also make a Wi-Fi QR code so their guests would no longer have to type in long and complicated passwords to gain internet access.

4. Healthcare

The healthcare sector opted for QR codes during the height of the COVID-19 crisis.

QR codes became tools for speeding up the contact tracing process.

Establishments also used QR codes for health declaration forms and questionnaires that customers must fill in before they can enter.

Now, QR codes are used on vaccination cards as a security and authentication feature.

5. Product packaging

Product manufacturers now incorporate QR codes on product packaging and labels to route their consumers to relevant details, such as nutritional content and precautions for allergic reactions.

For DIY products, appliances, and gadgets, a QR code can contain instructional videos and product manuals. With one scan, consumers will have access to these guides on their smartphones.

Management can also set up a QR code that allows clients to set an appointment easily.

To date, more and more companies and brands are using a dynamic QR code generator as part of their modern marketing strategy.

6. Product authentication

You can use QR codes to store product details and features that prove its authenticity.

Many brands have adopted QR codes for product authentication to combat the alarming rise of counterfeit goods on the market.

Aside from manufacturing and the CPG industry, more and more sectors are jumping onto the QR code technology bandwagon, leading to a surge in QR code adoption.

7. Inventory management

QR codes on products can speed up and ease inventory management.

The great thing about QR codes is that you only need a smartphone to scan them, and this saves you from buying bulky scanners for barcodes.

8. Business cards

QR codes leverage business cards by adding a digital aspect to the plain printed card using a digital business card solution. 

As you hand out business cards to people, they can simply scan the code to see more of your details and credentials.

9. Workplaces

Office spaces now use QR codes for a seamless recording of attendance, quick employee identification, and convenient file sharing.

10. Education

QR codes became extremely helpful in the education sector upon the shift to distance learning and online classes to keep both students and teachers safe.

Now that schools are open, these tech tools remain beneficial in different ways: from access to learning materials to classroom management.

Why are QR codes popular?

QR codes are popular for many reasons. Here are some of them:

Efficiency powerhouse

Manual data entry is prone to errors and delays. Now, a swift and simple scan can bring a multitude of information to your devices. 

A QR code’s ability to connect the physical and digital worlds creates a streamlined user experience, enhances data collection, and optimizes workflow businesses in many ways. 

It enables richer information sharing and eliminates the need for lengthy and cluttered printed messages. 

Enduring effectiveness

The effectiveness of QR codes extends far beyond marketing and advertising. They can also be used in product authentication, logistics, contactless payments, ticketing systems, and even in educational settings. 

This proves them as a valuable tool across various industries. 

Cutting on costs

QR codes are a potent tool for businesses looking for ways to optimize costs and streamline operations.

It eliminates the need for paper-based marketing materials, enhances inventory management, refines operations and data collection, enables content editing, and at the same time, improves customer experience in a single QR code. 

Easy to use

QR codes prioritize user experience by offering an intuitive and navigable way to access information.

Accessing a QR code typically leads to a specific predefined action, such as opening a website or launching an app. Their clarity of purpose minimizes user confusion and ensures an immediate understanding of how QR codes work. 

Unparalleled versatility

A QR code’s remarkable versatility lies in its compass to house a wide range of data in different types while remaining compact and easily accessible. 

Their inherent functionality, ease of use, and integration into other existing technologies make them a practical tool for businesses of all sizes.

QR codes in the news

Best QR code campaigns
In 2024, QR codes made the headlines on numerous occasions.

“It’s a growing market, and I think that it has a huge potential. In the near future, I believe it will be mainstream in any country,” Claeys notes.

Here are some of the most noteworthy QR code campaigns and applications so far:

1. Hershey’s uses dual QR codes to make packaging interactive

The Hershey Company launched a very sweet surprise to its Kisses chocolates consumers using QR codes.

To make gift-giving extra special and hassle-free during the holiday rush, they added dual QR codes on their Kisses chocolate packaging using the QR TIGER QR Code Generator.

The first QR code allows the giver to record a personal video message, add video filters, and store it to the QR code. While the second QR code allows the receiver to access and view the video message.

The colorful Hershey QR code displayed how versatile it is, allowing the CPG industry to make their packaging fun, engaging, and interactive.

2. Anime-inspired AI QR codes

A Reddit user shared a set of creative anime-inspired QR codes, showing how these tiny pixels can do more than just store information. They can be a creative art statement, too.

At a glance, they look like art portraits. But once you scan them using your smartphone, they will instantly lead you to the stored landing page.

Powered by Stable Diffusion AI and ControlNet, these AI-generated QR codes displayed how far QR code technology can go.

3. ‘Halo’ drone QR code 

During the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival held in Austin, Texas, 400 drones formed a gigantic QR code in the dusk sky to promote the upcoming Paramount+ original sci-fi series Halo.

When people scanned the code, a trailer for the show appeared on their smartphones.

It piqued people’s curiosity, and they expressed interest in the new show.

4. Super Bowl QR code ads

The 56th NFL Super Bowl was filled with iconic and influential QR code commercials.

One example is Coinbase’s 60-second ad featuring a QR code floating on a blank screen, which is reminiscent of the iconic DVD screensaver back in the 90s.

Home viewers who scanned the code landed on Coinbase’s time-limited promo: new users will get $15 worth of Bitcoin for free, and customers can participate in a $3 million giveaway.

Their website gained massive traffic in a short span of time, which resulted in a temporary app crash.

How long will QR codes stay relevant?

So to answer the question: are QR codes dead or will they remain as popular in the coming years?

The QR code usage statistics is proof of today’s QR code popularity, even though it has been several years since the COVID-19 pandemic.

They continue to prove to be useful in streamlining daily transactions.

They also offer a great opportunity from offline to online marketing campaigns.

Claeys sees that this trend will keep growing. “I believe it’s the goal of marketers to connect their target audience with their advertising,” he says.

“They would then have to make their QR codes engaging enough for people to actually look and scan them, and I think there’s a lot of opportunities within that space.”

The future of QR codes

Insider Intelligence found in a June 2021 survey that 75 percent of their respondents show a willingness to use more QR codes in the future. 

This can contribute to an increase in QR code usage statistics in the future.

Claeys believes that the popularity of QR codes will remain. “QR codes will be everywhere; they are a trend that will not stop anytime soon,” he adds.

He also suggests that more companies use QR codes. “They are a low-energy tool. You can just print one and paste it somewhere strategic. They are also cost-effective.”

“In addition, the number of leads you can generate through it is huge if you use them wisely. It is important to put a call to action under your QR code to get more scans.”

The QR TIGER CEO also sees new industries entering the space of QR codes, such as NFTs. “QR codes and NFTs seem to be a great match; a lovely marriage.”

“I also see more use cases for QR codes in 2024 and the coming years. I think the QR code is the bridge today between the offline world and the mobile phone,” Claeys concludes.

Frequently asked questions

Are QR codes still relevant in 2024?

Yes, current QR code trends reveal that they are still highly relevant in 2024. In fact, the data marks a 43.20% growth rate from 2022.

As evidence, more and more big brands are using them, especially in their marketing campaigns. They're getting more of the spotlight across industries, including entertainment.

What is the usage rate of QR codes?

Our latest QR code usage rate report revealed that there are at least eight QR codes generated per minute. Travel, marketing and advertising, and finance are the top industries using QR codes.

What percentage of people use QR codes?

Recent QR code generator statistics report recorded 26.95 million scans all over the world. United States leads the QR code usage with 42.2% scans in 2022 to 43.9% in 2023, marking a 10.72% increase.

What are today’s QR code trends?

The 2024 QR code usage rate shows that there’s a constant growth of QR code usage in marketing, travel, events, healthcare, and education industries.

More and more brands are using dynamic QR codes as part of their campaigns, advertisements, promotions, and even product packaging to make it more interactive. In 2027, it’s more likely that regular barcodes will be replaced by QR codes.

What’s the most popular use of QR codes today?

QR code payment and QR code advertising are the most popular uses of QR codes today. In fact, QR code usage is projected to reach USD 2.20 billion in 2027, marking a significant growth of 26% in the US.

What is the QR code scan statistics?

According to our latest QR code scan statistics findings, the global QR code scans surged to 26.95 million scans recorded coming from 50 different countries.

How do I get QR code stats?

Make sure to get a dynamic QR code so you can track and monitor your QR code stats. With our dynamic QR, you can see a comprehensive QR code statistics report directly from your account dashboard.

Brands using QR codes

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