After first denying the rumours, Google finally made it official: It now owns Punchd.
Punchd is basically a digital loyalty punch card. The smartphone app allows users to scan a QR code and that virtually gives them a “punch” on their loyalty cards. After ten punches, the customer can redeem the card or get the prize.
It seems that Google has great plans for the service, especially as it unrolls its Google Offers service in New York, Portland and San Francisco, with more cities further along the pipeline.
A lot of observers have predicted the end of QR codes when Google chose to go with near-field communications technology earlier this year, effectively abandoning QR codes in the process. But it seems that the search giant is backtracking now, by getting itself a QR code-based product.
What’s more, as had been mentioned above, it seems that Google would be using the technology in their Offers platform to rival Groupon, and perhaps some other services such as their Android apps, Google Wallet and Google Places.
QR Codes For Small Businesses
Google’s move is a great testimonial for QR codes. It only strengthens the notion that QR codes are a perfect tool for small businesses. It is both easy to deploy and free to use. As such, small businesses that embrace QR codes have a distinct advantage that has been gained almost effortlessly and without cost.
Google’s interest in QR codes, as well as products and services that uses the same technology, seems to be because of the convenience and cost-efficiency in using QR codes. If you want to target small businesses, you should have QR codes in your arsenal. NFC might be good, but only because it has a good potential for mobile payments.
So as a small business owner, you should be looking at QR codes yourself!
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