China QR Code Ban Could Soon Be Lifted

Back in March, China bans using QR Code for payments, but that may end shortly, according to a report in Mobile Commerce News. The initial ban from the Central Bank was issued because of security concerns.

The story reports that rumors of the ban’s imminent demise are so prevalent that businesses are already making QR code preparations. “As third party mobile payment services and banks start to hear that the ban on QR codes could soon be lifted, they have been quickly and quietly moving so that they will be ready to snatch up their share of the market once it is legal to do so,” the story reported. “For example, WeChat has recently updated its swipe based payment services functions in a way that will allow consumers to display a quick response code on the screen of their smartphone so that it can be scanned by a cashier at a checkout counter, instead of needing to swipe a debit or credit card.”

The story also noted that Alipay ran a promotion in August with the FamilyMart chain of convenience stores in Shanghai. “This gave users of the Alipay Wallet the opportunity to receive a discount of 10 percent when they completed transactions before September 16,” it said. And the Postal Savings Bank of China was also using a QRcode-based payment service in tests that were conducted in early August.

Neither of these politically-plugged in entities would have done so had they not believed that QR code ban was about to be lifted.


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Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. The July 2019 Pay Advances: The Gig Economy’s New Normal, a PYMNTS and Mastercard collaboration, examines pay advances – full or partial payments received before an ad hoc job is completed – including how gig workers currently use them and their potential for future adoption.

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