QR codes’ invasion
Underused in Occident, the QR code is however essential to every brand, which hopes to develop itself in China. This little square has been made unmissable by the rise of the digital economy, to access pages on social networks as Weibo or WeChat, on mini-apps or to pay one’s purchase. In 2016, monetary transactions by QR codes have reached about 38 trillion RMB, which was more than twice the country’s GDP.
A cashless society
The QR code has initiated a transition towards a cashless society making credit cards near to useless. As a result of this new monetary trend, the Chinese central Bank has announced a range of measures to regulate transactions by QR codes and other mobile scannable barcodes in December 2017.
Its boom has been facilitated by the speed on which the Chinese society has seized those digital solutions. In the digital industry, China has been a forerunner with consumption habits that are entirely relying on mobile phones.
A key tool for tourism
French department stores have already perceived the importance to adapt to these new models. In this way, Galeries Lafayette has begun to offer WeChat Pay as a new payment option in November 2017. Chinese tourists can now pay their purchase with their smartphones. Henceforth, they are not obliged to carry big amounts of cash when they enjoy their time in Paris. RATP – Paris state-owned public transport operator – has now a WeChat page too. This application allows passengers to buy their tickets in RMB. QR codes are visible in many Paris subway stations for those who haven’t yet downloaded the application.
In 2016, Chinese travelers have been 2 million to travel to France. By adapting to Chinese people habits, French tourism operators create a secure and familiar traveling and purchasing environment. Therefore, the usage of QR codes is essential to a French service or brand strategy. It allows them to be known by Chinese consumers, inside and outside China.