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Trouble Reading QR Codes


QR Code is gaining quick popularity in the United Kingdom, that’s for sure and one evidence of that is when you see a giant financial institution catching the QR Code bus as well. They’re supposed to be all black-tie, no nonsense, professional, efficient, boring…not catching the QR Code bug.

Someone spotted a QR Code splattered across the window of Barclays Bank but he reported some minor problems trying to read the code. Instead of the conventional black and white QR Code, the bank decided to do it a little differently. For one, they printed it against a baby blue colored background with white boxes and lines.

Bold and creative, but not especially helpful for those who are trying to scan the QR Code at night or when there is bad lighting. As we all know (those of us who have tried using QR Codes), scanning is tricky. Sometimes it works for one phone and it doesn’t for another. It also depends on the quality of the camera and the mood that the QR Code reader is in.

This reminds me of the problems some people are having with Google Map QR Codes. The favorite places campaign by the internet giant is apparently facing similar problems. Some users claim that the problem was with their phones while others are pointing fingers at Google’s inaccurate QR Codes.

There was a forum where people were thronging (not sure if there is such a word) to for complaints and the team behind Google’s campaign are already working to stave off these complaints and deal with them as delicately as they possibly can. As it is, consumers are expecting quite a fair bit of (free) promotion for their businesses and customers are excited with the prospect of finding these places with QR Codes.

The problem is different for everyone. It could be the phone, it could be the QR Code, it could be the reader – whichever it is, we suppose with such intense scrutiny, even minor teething problems can be turned into one massive, explosive issue.

At least Barclays Bank’s under-performing QR Code is not as blown up.

So, learn from the bank’s mistake of printing the code against light colored background with white boxes. For the moment, we think that getting creative should not get in the way of practicality. It is best to stick to the black and white QR Code, perhaps?

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