How Can I Use QR Codes in My Business?

small business retailer using QR codes to collect payments

The coronavirus pandemic transformed the way many businesses operate.

Complimentary curbside pick-up, contactless payments, and QR codes are among the trending practices becoming standard across so many industries. With the surge in touch-free experiences, business owners are adopting QR codes to market their products, collect payments, and create a more convenient customer experience.

Do you want to take advantage of this emerging trend but aren’t sure where a QR code would fit into your business’ daily operations? Alex Keene, Treasury Management expert, is here to give you a QR code overview: what you need to know, how they can benefit your business, and the different ways ten industries are using them.

What is a QR code?

A quick response (QR) code is a square-shaped barcode made up of a series of pixels. These codes store information and are easily scan-able with smartphone cameras. They are similar to a traditional barcode, but quicker in readability and have a greater storage capacity. Think of a QR code as a digital shortcut; it can take your audience exactly where you want them to go, and quickly. You can pop them onto your brand’s advertisements to take viewers directly to your product pages, onto business cards for easy appointment booking, or even to a registration page for your upcoming event.

What are the benefits of using QR codes for my business?

  • Actionable - QR codes are an excellent way to make your marketing efforts actionable. You can prompt users to register for an upcoming event, re-direct them to a specific app download page, or direct them to the menu at your restaurant.
  • Quick and convenient - Instead of asking your audience to type a URL (which they may or may not take the time to do), you can include a QR code for them to scan, driving them exactly where you want them to go.
  • Interactive – Consumers might be more likely to interact with your content if you make it easy for them to do so, and QR codes do just that. You can make it easier for your customers to leave you feedback on their experience by including QR codes on packaging if they’ve ordered goods.
  • Cost Efficient – If you haven’t already begun using QR codes, what’s holding you back? Some QR codes allow you to update their content and final URL destination. This might actually save you money in the long run since you wouldn’t have to reprint your marketing materials every time you make a change.

10 Industries and How They are Using QR Codes

Restaurants and Bars

Perhaps the most widely recognized integration of QR codes is restaurant and bar owners using them to digitize the customer experience. Patrons can scan the QR code (usually on the table) with the camera on their smartphone to view menus, place an order, and/or pay for their meals and drinks. Dynamic QR codes make the transaction simple by presenting the customer with the amount owed as well as the merchant information, only requiring the user to accept the transaction and kindly add a tip.


Retail businesses have an opportunity to speed up the checkout process by implementing a QR code checkout option. While shopping in store, customers can scan their items with their smartphones along with the provided QR code to pay for their items, skipping the checkout line entirely. Some retailers will even offer special perks or additional rewards to encourage shoppers to use the QR code checkout method.

E-ticket Bookings

Users can scan QR codes on a TV screen to book tickets for concerts, events, hotels, theme parks, etc. using their mobile wallets. Within a few seconds, the payment is made, and their tickets are delivered virtually to your email or an associated mobile app.

Doctor’s Practices

Some healthcare practices are putting QR codes on casts for detailed post-care instructions the patient will easily be able to keep up with. Others are putting them on medical bills to enable patients to instantly pay their bills from their mobile wallets, eliminating the need for postage stamps or payment websites.

Parking Payments

QR codes are an excellent solution if you run a parking operation. Users can search for available parking nearby and book a parking space through a mobile application. Once the parking space is booked, the user can simply scan the QR code present at the parking lot or garage to complete the payment. Bike Rentals Bike rental services in cities typically have a QR code on each vessel. Users can search for available bikes or scooters through a mobile application. Riders can scan the code with their smartphone to unlock and rent the bike.

Farmers Markets and Pop Ups

Street vendors and farmers can print a QR code for all their products consisting of the product description, growing/ripening technique, price, and place of origin. Food truck owners can place a QR code near their service window allowing customers to see a schedule of where they will be located and what hours they will be operating. Purchasing a product is easy, just scan and confirm the information to make the payment with your digital wallet.

Gym and Fitness Studios

By putting QR codes on fitness equipment, not only are you providing your clientele with access to fitness instructions, photos, and videos, but you also enable them to set up and pay for training sessions with personal trainers. Additionally, your customers will enjoy being able to join virtual queues for services or equipment they normally must wait for, such as ordering smoothies or enjoying tanning and massage beds.

Toll Payments

In big cities that require drivers to pay tolls, mounting a QR code on the front side of a vehicle for automated toll collection will save drivers from having to wait in line and dig for spare change. Additionally, QR codes are cheaper to implement than traditional RFID tags , take up less space, and are readable from any direction.


Implementing the use of QR codes at cafeteria counters in hospitals or office buildings provides employees a contact-free way to pay for their snacks or meals. Added benefits include shorter waiting times for employees and more efficient payment management for the vendor(s).

There are countless advantages to using QR codes in your business operations. They can bring improvement to your business, and they don’t require a heavy investment.

SouthState Bank is here to equip your business with tools and solutions to flourish. Contact a banker to get started today.

  • This content is general in nature and provided for informational use only. Content may be used in connection with the advertising and marketing of products and services offered by SouthState Bank, N.A. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. This is not to be considered legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You should seek individualized advice from personal financial, legal, tax and/or other professionals, as appropriate depending on the specific facts of your situation. We do not make any warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of this information and have no liability for your use of this information.

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