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Clo Willaerts
Clo Willaerts

Program Manager in Postgraduate Digital Business at Karel de Grote University College, Antwerp

Anyone who knows even a little about me is well aware that QR codes can make me see red. Why? Because until recently, I kept encountering applications that were downright idiotic. Fortunately, there are also some examples of the technology being used well out there. 


Online payments: how not to do it. 

1. QR codes that are integrated into an email or a web page, which refer you to...a web page. In other words, you're already in an environment where you could click on a URL, but no: first you have to take a detour, and to do that you need to scan a QR code. Great. 

2. QR codes that refer you to a web page which is not optimised for mobile. This is because QR codes these days are always scanned using...a smartphone. 

3. QR codes that are printed on a surface too far away to be able to scan it properly. Examples include a projection screen, someone's rumpled T-shirt while they're standing on stage or, worse yet, a vehicle driving by at high speed. 
You won't be doing yourself any favours with the insurance company when you write "I was trying to scan the QR code on a truck that was driving by" on the accident form. 

Here's how to use QR codes to your advantage in business 

Only available in Dutch


QR codes during the pandemic 

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, I have seen more and more QR codes being used sensibly on the streets. And I've noticed more and more people actually taking the time to scan them. Here are a couple of examples: 

Contactless payment 

You can do this by printing a code on an invoice. Or you could have someone pay you via Payconiqor your bank's app. 

Contactless check-in at events 

Eventbrite has a simple yet efficient example of this: your entrance ticket contains a QR code. Airlines are also utilising this option: you can store your boarding pass – with a QR code featured prominently on it – on your smartphone. 

Contactless form completion 

One of the outcomes of the pandemic is that we now have to register in order to go to a hotel or restaurant. In Belgium, QR codes on tables that refer visitors to look much more professional than when the staff at an establishment hand guests a paper list containing the private information of everybody else in the place. 

KBC integrates QR codes the smart way 

QR codes have not only become mainstream, but are now being used for the reason the technology was invented. At KBC, they have become part and parcel of some of its online integrations involving third-party entrepreneurs. Here are two examples: 

KBC bicycle insurance 

Your customer has just bought their dream bike from you and now wants to have it insured. This doesn't take long in itself, but you're a bike dealer, not an insurance agent. You can activate technical integration with KBC Bicycle Insurance (note: we currently do not offer the KBC Bicycle Insurance pro-actively through partners) using a special QR code listed with all your top models. 

KBC Renovation Loans 

Your customer is ready and willing to have the renovations for their residence carried out by you, but they want to spread the payments. Keep the sales flow going by giving them a flyer containing a QR code that will take them to the KBC Renovation Loans page. They can take the flyer home with them – that's all the loan 'paperwork' you'll have to deal with. 


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