As people around the world begin the transition back into a normal routine, the Covid-19 pandemic has left many establishments searching for innovative ways to keep customers safe while simultaneously providing the service that reputations have been built upon. One method is the rising popularity of QR (Quick Response) code technology. While already in widespread use in Europe, it is rapidly gaining popularity among many venues in the United States as well. QR code technology allows users with a smart phone to scan a picture like a barcode, with which they can access digital menus, services, payments, and much more. The advantage of digital menus and other services are apparent to customers and businesses alike. Supply disruptions can alter costs and availability, and digital offerings can be updated rapidly. In this constantly changing atmosphere, merchants and restaurants are obligated to adapt to the situation. Giving customers the option to limit their exposure to physical objects is a great tool to add to the arsenal of combating any pandemic. Adding technology to the mix of masks, disinfection, and distancing can help everyone along.
QR code technology was first developed in 1994 to aid with product inventory and has been gaining in popularity ever since. It uses 2D printing like a barcode but can store far more information. As smart phones grew into a universal technology that almost everyone carries with them, the utility of QR code scanners have become highly convenient. With the onset of Covid-19 the use of the contactless QR code technology is a natural fit. The code is scanned with an appropriate application and through the application the customers can access menus directly on their phones, and do not have to share physical copies with others.
The mobile application iWallet allows restaurants to upload a menu for free, and the only thing that must be done to use it is to print off a black and white QR code and display it anywhere that a customers might need to access a menu. This prevents the handling of physical menus between customers, cuts down on excessive disinfection, and eliminates the costs of physical menus. Not only can restaurants benefit from this technology, but other services such as nail and hair salons can as well. The ease of being able to access entire service inventories directly from a smart phone is a massive advantage in these times, as crucial service industries are beginning to open back up. People need haircuts, manicures, and more, and offering these services from a safe distance will be important going into the future. Patrons of hair and nail salons can still use their phones while their manicures dry, so it is quite easy to browse a service menu and make a payment without having to share public payment kiosks or physical menus. No longer will anyone have to dig through a purse for cash and risk ruining that fresh nail look, nor will anyone need to be exposed to others shared menus. With all these benefits it seems likely that moving forward both businesses and customers will prefer the new contactless and easy technology. Merchants utilizing iWallet are at a distinct advantage due to its ease of use, the freedom from expensive hardware, and the ability to update service and food menus on the fly.
Around the United States business are opening back up and are attempting to do so safely. With thousands of visitors a month and more merchants signing up, iWallet can deliver contactless service to business and customers. Along with social distancing, mask usage, and frequent hand washing, non-contact service points are going to become more widespread. The global population is ready for a return to normalcy, but most people want to do so in a manner that keeps others safe while also allowing businesses to maintain their livelihood. In many parts of the world the QR code technology has been implemented with great success rates, and other countries are starting to follow suit. As merchants discover the ease of use and low to no costs associated with QR technology, this can become a permanent fixture of many establishments.
Covid-19 has changed the way that business is done, and companies have been quick to adapt to changing circumstances. It is highly likely that social distancing restrictions, mask mandates, and the like are here for the foreseeable future. Because vendors can utilize the services that iWallet offers for free it is entirely possible to open once again and get customers in the door. Mutual safety among customers and staff will be of supreme importance until the world is over the pandemic, but once it is understood the advantages of these non-contact service systems, business will not want to turn back. It is up to everyone to work together and form a harmonious balance between safety and service and utilizing cutting edge technology can help everyone along.