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QR Code Payments Standard Determined

March 29, 2019

The Payments Japan Association determined the unified standard QR codes and those of standard barcodes used in payments using such codes.

1. Background

Currently, specifications of QR codes and those of barcodes, used in code-based payments, vary among businesses adopting payments using such codes. As a result, stores need to develop systems tailored to the respective specifications of such codes or introduce multiple QR codes into their services. This situation raises concerns over an increase in stores’ burdens and confuses consumers in choosing QR code applications for payment at stores, and this may undermine the user-friendliness of such codes.

To solve this problem, the Payments Japan Association, a body established under industry-academia-government collaboration (observer: the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and other organizations), has been advancing discussions on specifications of unified standard QR codes and those of standard barcodes.

2. Generation of the unified standard QR codes and those of standard barcodes

The association stipulated the specifications of unified standard QR codes and those of standard barcodes and released the guidelines therefor. As a reference, the specifications of standard barcodes have already been released on January 31, 2019, prior to the release of those of standard QR codes. Prior to the formulation of the guidelines, the association, consisting of a wide variety of stakeholders as members, including businesses utilizing code-based payments, related associations and experts, held discussions and studied the details of the guidelines. Following this, the association broadly called for public comments on the discussion results and finally compiled the guidelines.

The guidelines that the association formulated:

3. URL for the guidelines

If you wish to obtain the guidelines above, visit the website of the association for the guidelines.

4. Future dissemination and other efforts

METI will strive to disseminate standard QR codes and standard barcodes in collaboration with related authorities, associations and businesses utilizing code-based payments.

Division in Charge

Consumer Affairs, Distribution and Retail Industry Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group