SAN FRANCISCO-QR codes already enhance mobile marketing, advertising and payments strategies, and new research says Apple's Passbook will change the market.

Javelin Strategy & Research said it recently took an in-depth look at QR (quick-response) codes and other 2D bar codes. Javelin identified key consumer segments that frequently scan them along with best practices from merchants, retailers (including Apple, Starbucks and Groupon), and the financial services industry on how to leverage QR codes.

By incorporating social media and geolocation into QR and other 2D bar codes, Javelin said merchants can move beyond mobile advertising and marketing and provide consumers with robust and "right now" experiences.

For example, Starbucks' Mobile Pay 2D bar code application allows consumers to link their Starbucks prepaid card to their smart phones to transact.

Javelin said Apple's Passbook will "enhance the consumer experience" by allowing consumers to aggregate a variety of merchant applications that use 2D bar codes, including QR codes, into a wallet on their iPhones. This reportedly will provide easy, "top of phone" access to tickets, coupons, gifts and loyalty programs when consumers are in a specific area or store.

"Apple Passbook is a huge step forward on the path to mobile wallets," said Mary Monahan, EVP and research director, Mobile at Javelin. "By getting consumers used to the idea of geolocation and geofencing, Apple Passbook provides merchants with timely and value-added ways to connect with their mobile consumers such as airline boarding passes that show up on the phone's lock screen and will update with gate changes as the user enters the terminal. Likewise, coupons and loyalty reward benefits could pop up when entering a particular store. With more than 100 million iPhone and iPod customers, Apple will gain the largest wallet platform virtually overnight and potentially transition millions of consumers to making merchant-enabled mobile payments with bar codes."

Javelin said its QR Codes Best Practices report is based on two online surveys of 3,100 and 5,300 consumers each.

Among the findings:

* 40% of mobile bankers have scanned a QR code or bar code compared to 16% of mobile consumers.

* More than half of mobile bankers would like to use their phones to purchase tickets, make a purchase in a store or at POS, or organize and track gift, rewards and loyalty accounts.

* Consumer enthusiasm for geolocation-based marketing and promotional messages has surged 53% since 2010.


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For info:

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