The rise/rebirth of QR codes is … surprising.

QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code

The surprising thing is that when the geeks and nerds tried to first introduce QR codes to the world, it was in the form of trying to reduce typing of super long URI paths into browsers and mobile phones. After all, typing is slow and painful when you got h t t p s : / / w w w . e x a m p l e . c o m / r a n d o m / m o r e r a n d o m / m o r e . p h p. Nobody gonna get that right.

But that never really properly took off. Too painful to use, still too much friction.  You never know what you’re scanning. It’s just scary and a bit too slow to scan still.

Then we had link shorteners like bitly, googl etc. Then we had NFC taps. 

But it’s surprising that QR codes came into fashion from a surprisingly unlikely source – China. China and their payment systems. 

What if, this is the death of mastercard and visa, like the deaths of diner and amex. If so much payments bypass them, if people no longer needed credit cards with visa and master on them, if people had new credit cards with other systems (yeah it’s actually different things!), and if people went with less credit, would our banking systems change so much, would shopping data change companies etc. 

What an interesting world.


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