Today, Nacha - The Electronic Payments Association's Council for Electronic Billing and Payment (CEBP) issued final guidelines for the use of Quick Response (QR) codes in consumer bill payment.
The guidelines, developed in collaboration with CEBP members and refined through industry input, describe the use of QR codes in a variety of bill payment functions such as viewing bills, making bill payments, enrolling for eBills and setting up payees in online banking.
Specifically, the QR Encoding for Consumer Bill Pay Guidelines identify voluntary standards for using QR codes in both biller direct and consolidator/aggregator billing and payment models. It contains recommendations regarding QR code size, data to be included in the QR code, and layout of the data represented in the QR code, among others. The goal of the guideines is to establish a single QR code format that can be printed on a paper bill and scanned by the consumer's mobile phone using a biller, mobile banking or generic QR code reader. In this way, billers and service providers can enable QR encoding in a standardized format, providing certainty for biller and banking clients, and ensuring a consistent experience for consumers.
"With the help of the industry, the CEBP has been able to develop a clear, implementable standard for the use of QR codes in consumer bill payment," said Chris Huppert, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo and chair of the CEBP. "It is our hope that these standards will help encourage QR code use for bill pay, and ultimately provide an easy option for check writers to view and pay bills electronically."
"We see QR codes as a bridge to help our biller customers move their consumers from paper to electronic adoption," said Rich Langan, Senior Product Manager with DST Output, a customer communications provider and CEBP member that helped spearhead the Guidelines development effort. "With diverse participation from key industry verticals, the CEBP serves as a great venue for these types of standards efforts."
The CEBP intends to organize a test for early adopters in 2013 with billers, biller service providers, financial institutions, paymenteent providers and others to help kick start use of the Guidelines. The purpose of the test is to verify the specification and to help develop market participants. Organizations interested in participating in the QR code test should contact Robert Unger, Senior Director, eBilling and Payments, NACHA at (703) 561-3913 or firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2013.