The lowly QR Code has been around for nearly 30 years — it was invented back in 1994! — yet it is only now getting the recognition it truly deserves, owing largely to today’s health-conscious and convenience-driven world. If anyone (or thing) merits the award for Biggest Glow Up of 2020, we unanimously vote for the sleek, the beautiful… Contactless QR Code.

So… what is a QR Code?

Short for “Quick Response Code,” the QR is a code that is quickly readable by a smartphone. Not to be confused with a barcode (which is 1-dimensional and holds 20 characters of information), the QR Code is a 2-dimensional code that stores all types of information horizontally and vertically, holding hundreds more characters than the barcode. When triggered (scanned by a smartphone – no app download required), the QR Code prompts a digital call-to-action. It’s impressively versatile — it can hold links, digital menus, coupons, event details, and yes, can even facilitate parking payments. In terms of practical use cases, the world is its oyster.

The Glow Up 

The QR Code is being used at a wider scale than ever before due to its ease of use and ability to facilitate touchless buyer journeys. It’s no secret that the pandemic has forced all of us to — quickly — adopt touch-free ways to go about our daily lives. And the hero that’s helped businesses and consumers through our touch-averse, budget-conscious ‘new normal’? The affordable and versatile QR Code. A bit of a late bloomer, the QR Code has won over consumers in 2020 because it helped them feel safe in the midst of so much uncertainty. Not to mention it’s just so easy to use. Now universally recognized by consumers everywhere, we all know what to do when we see those familiar black and white splotches: open our phone camera and scan the code. Simple as that. Overnight, the QR Code has become the standard — we see them on the table at restaurants and instinctively know they’re there to order and pay for our meal; we use them to unlock bike-shares, and — you guessed it — to safely and easily pay for a parking spot.

First Movers in Parking

At HONK, we’ve been touting contactless payments since we were founded in 2013 and began employing this technology for contactless guest checkout in the spring of 2019. We’re proud to say we saw its potential long before the world embraced and adopted this new (old) technology. If you’re wondering why, it’s as simple as this: The QR Code has all the qualities needed for safe, quick, and convenient parking payments. And now she’s all glowed up!

Interested to know how HONK fit the QR Code into the parking payments puzzle for an even quicker and easier way to pay?