The Chinese government is exploring plans that would lift the ban on mobile payments using QR codes, according to published reports. Two years ago, the People’s Bank of China suspended the use of QR codes by third-party payment systems like Alibaba and Tenpay. Now, however, the central bank has authorized the China Payment and Clearing Association to develop standards around the technology that will enable purchases by scanning a QR barcode using a mobile device. While QR codes are mainly used at the point of sale, any payments made using the technology are considered card-not-present payments.
In 2014, the Chinese government cited concerns around the security of personal information transmitted during QR transactions as a rationale for prohibiting their use. Payments experts said the ban most likely was an effort to protect China UnionPay, the state run payment card association and interbank network operator.