PayPal Rolls Out QR Code Touch-Free Payments in Canada

Many areas in Canada are progressing to Phase 2 of the reopening during the current pandemic situation. But businesses are still making changes that will likely last for some time, including implementing more touchless technology. And PayPal is joining the fray through the introduction of QR code payments in Canada.

QR Code payments in Canada will allow small businesses to accept touch-free mobile payments from customers in person using the PayPal app. This allows retailers to accept these payments without having to purchase new POS equipment. There is no need to touch a point-of-sale terminal or punch in your PIN – all that’s needed is the PayPal app and a smartphone camera pointed at a QR code that is printed or present on another screen. 

The technology will also come in handy for any outdoor events or summer markets. Those who are selling items in-person can print a QR code, place it on their table and have their customers simply scan the code, enter the amount they’re paying and send money immediately. This allows the seller to minimize physical interactions with the customer, says PayPal, while also limiting the customer’s interaction with checkout technology. 

PayPal is waiving the standard seller fees incurred on sales conducted using a QR Code through September 30, 2020 to help small businesses that are now, or will soon be, trying to get back on their feet. 

While this feature will be especially appreciated as we continue to wait for a vaccination to COVID-19 and for the pandemic to ease down, customers will likely carry some of their worry and concern with them even beyond. Even so, Canadians have been using less and less cash regardless, previously in favour of technologies like debit, credit, and mobile payments, and now for fear of bills and coins being contaminated.

A recent study from Payments Canada found that 62% of Canadians reported using less cash than they did pre-COVID-19. The survey also found that more than half (53%) of Canadians reported using card or mobile tap payment for in-store purchases more often than pre-pandemic.

“We know that buying and selling goods in a secure and health-conscious way is top of mind for people as the economy reopens and rebuilds,” says John Kunze, Senior Vice President of Branded Experiences, PayPal. “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen a surge in demand for digital payments to include safe and affordable solutions for in-person payments. We are rolling out QR codes for buyers and sellers so they can shop and sell safely while social distancing. They don’t need any new devices or expensive point-of-sale terminals. All they need is a PayPal account and their smartphone.”

Amid business re-openings, nearly half (42%) of Canadians who are shopping in-person are avoiding places that do not accept touch-free payments. 

To pay using QR code, Customers can go to the PayPal app, click ‘Send,’ and tap the QR code symbol in the top right-hand corner. The camera will open, and customers can scan a seller’s QR code and follow the prompts to complete the transaction. Sellers can create a PayPal-generated QR code by following the steps outlined here.

PayPal has rolled out this functionality to 28 markets around the world including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom, and the U.S.