For some unknown reason, making payments via QR code is gaining a lot of popularity in Belgium. Not because of mass Bitcoin adoption, unfortunately. Atos, the primary payment service provider active in Belgium, has rolled out a new SmartPay function through its Worldline subsidiary. Smart Pay works with QR codes for payments.
Belgian Stores Get QR Code Support
Even though Bitcoin technology has been using QR codes for several years now, other payment service providers are only now rolling out QR code payment options. Atos is a very big name in the Belgian payment sector. Their Worldline subsidiary issues card statements for both credit and debit cards owned by individual users and business.
But it looks like Worldline is evolving their business model by incorporating QR code technology. Up until this point, very few stores in Belgium have embraced this technology, as it is only available in 130 locations. That situation will come to change shortly, though, as major brands will roll out support as well.
Among these brands are Delhaize, Inno, and Quick, three of the largest chains in all of Belgium. Particularly Quick is interesting, as this fast food restaurant chain has become quite popular in the country. Moreover, it makes sense for the company to embrace QR code payments, as it would allow for faster transactions and reduce the need for cash.
What makes SmartPay rather interesting is how the payment solution does not support NFC capabilities. Users will need to run the Bancontact application to scan the QR code when it is presented to them. This is still a convenient solution, as it remains a contactless payment option.
Some people may argue this technology is a clear copy of the payment solution offered by mobile Bitcoin wallets. QR codes are incorporated in the Bitcoin world for both online and offline payments. It will be interesting to see how the merchants and customers respond to this new Worldline offering, though.
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