QR code scans quadrupled in 2022
Long story short: QR codes continue to grow in popularity even as the world gradually transitions to a new normal.
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.
Benjamin 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 2022, there are about 6.64 billion smartphone users in the world, with 5.32 billion 'unique' users.
A June 2021 survey in the US by Statista revealed that 59% of respondents believe QR codes will become a permanent part of their smartphone usage in the future.
Global QR code usage statistics in 2022
Dynamic QR codes generated by users accumulated a total of 6,825,842 scans from global users—a 433% increase over 2021 figures.
Based on QR TIGER’s database, here are the top 10 countries with the highest scanning activity for the first quarter of 2022:
- United States – 42.2%
- India – 16.1%
- France – 6.4%
- United Kingdom – 3.6%
- Canada – 3.6%
- Saudi Arabia – 3.0%
- Colombia – 3.0%
- Malaysia – 2.1%
- Singapore – 1.7%
- Mexico – 1.6%
Only four Asian countries made it to the top 10. This may make it appear as though Asia lags behind when it comes to QR code usage.
Claeys, 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.”
The United States leads the countries worldwide in QR code usage, with a total of 2,880,960 scans.
This number is quite promising, considering that 75.8 million smartphone users in the US scanned a QR code in 2021, as shown by a Statista 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 2022 report, 58% 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.
India places second, with a total of 1,101,723 scans from users.
This is no surprise since 40% of the Indian population uses QR codes.
The country has adopted the use of 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.
The most popular QR code solutions
Based on QR TIGER’s database, here are the 10 most widely used QR code solutions:
- URL – 46.3%
- File – 31.4%
- vCard – 7.1%
- Social media – 3.7%
- HTML – 2.8%
- Mp3 – 2.5%
- Menu – 2.2%
- YouTube – 1.1%
- Appstore – 1.0%
- Facebook – 0.7%
From the QR code usage statistics shown, forty-six percent of the total dynamic QR codes created for the first quarter of 2022 are URL QR codes, which only makes sense since QR codes are primarily used for redirecting users to web links.
File QR codes come in second place with 31%, followed by the vCard (digital business card) QR solution at 7%.
The remaining two percent consists of the following QR code solutions:
Multi-URL QR codes are among the unique solutions. Using this technology, each user can access different links depending on particular parameters such as:
- Number of scans
Claeys remains steadfast in multi-URL QR codes’ potential. “We recently helped VeeFriends, an NFT project by Gary Vaynerchuk,” he shares.
“They needed a multi-URL QR code solution that would generate another link every time a user scans 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.
How does the world use QR codes today?