Knowledge & skills

What kinds of QR code exist? And which ones does Billit use?

Nowadays, you see them everywhere: QR codes. But what kinds of QR code exist, what are the differences between them and which QR codes will you find on our Billit invoicing platform? Find out all the answers in this blog.

Blog QR Codes

What exactly is a QR code?

A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode developed by the Japanese engineer Masahiro Hara in 1994 for the company Denso Wave, a supplier to the car manufacturers Toyota and Isuzu.

The letters ‘QR’ stand for ‘Quick Response’. In other words, this type of barcode was especially developed to be read very quickly by a scanner or other device. Another handy feature is that partially damaged QR codes are usually still readable.

To begin with, QR codes were used to identify car parts, but other applications were soon found, such as coding a hyperlink (URL). Nowadays, QR codes are used in many sectors. You find them on posters, menus, business cards, invoices and much more.

How do QR codes work?

A QR code is a complex matrix of black and white squares called ‘modules’, into which letters, figures and other characters can be coded. The image consists of different patterns that each fulfil a specific function. For example, there are patterns for orienting the image, determining its size and specifying the version of the QR code, etc.

Today, you can easily scan a QR code with a smartphone camera. An inbuilt QR reader or one you have downloaded then converts the image into an URL, text or series of digits.

What different kinds of QR code exist?

We can distinguish the following types of QR code:

Type Example Description
Model 1 Qr Code Model 1 Small The original QR code with a storage capacity of 1,167 numeric characters, 707 alphanumeric characters and 299 kanji characters (Japanese script).
Model 2 Qr Code Model 2 Small An improved version of Model 1 that can be scanned faster and has a higher capacity. This type of QR code can hold a maximum of 7,089 numeric characters, 4,296 alphanumeric characters, 2,953 binary bytes and 1,817 kanji characters.
Micro QR code Micro Qr Code A smaller version of the original QR code with a lower storage capacity. This code is mainly used for inventories of very small products such as components of electrical devices.
rMQR code Rmqr Code An elongated version of the micro QR code with a storage capacity of 219 alphanumeric characters, 361 numeric and 92 kanji characters. This code is also mainly used for product inventories.
SQRC Sqrc Visually, this code looks more or less the same as a standard QR code, but it contains private data that can only be read by certain people. If a person without access scans the code, they will see different, non-confidential information.
Frame QR code Frame Qr Code This code is shaped like a photo frame, can be in different colours and is placed around an image or logo. This type of QR code is ideal for marketing purposes.

Besides these QR codes, there are other two-dimensional barcodes that look like QR codes but are not technically the same thing. Examples of these are the Aztec code, PDF417 code, Han Xin code, DotCode and MaxiCode, etc.

Which QR codes does Billit use?

Our invoicing platform, Billit, also uses QR codes, mainly to make payments faster and easier.

You will find four different kinds of QR code in Billit:

1. The EPC QR code

This type of QR code is generated according to the guidelines of the European Payments Council (EPC) and is used for SEPA credit transfers (SCT).

After scanning an EPC QR code with your banking app, you will see a completed bank transfer form that you can execute immediately. The code is used in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Finland.

EPC QR codes are supported by the banks Argenta, ASN, Belfius, Bunq, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING, KBC, Knab, SNS and VDK.

In Billit, EPC QR codes are placed on your invoices by default – as long as you have not activated the link with Payconiq or Mollie. This QR code makes it easier for your customers to pay your invoices.

You can use EPC QR codes to pay invoices yourself as well. To do so, select one or more invoices, click ‘Pay’ and select the QR icon. You can now scan the QR code with your banking app to pay the invoice.

Read the help article: Paying invoices in Billit

2. Payconiq QR code

If you activate the Payconiq integration, you can put a Payconiq QR code on your invoice. Then your customers can pay your invoice by scanning the code with the Payconiq by Bancontact app (or their own banking app, if the app has Payconiq by Bancontact integrated into it). To be able to activate the integration, your business does need to be a Payconiq customer.

Read the help article: Linking Billit to Payconiq

3.Mollie QR code

If you activate the Mollie integration, you can put a Mollie QR code on your invoice. When your customers scan that QR code on your invoice, they are taken to a payment page where they can pay your invoice with a payment method of their choice.

So, the QR code cannot be scanned with a banking app: instead it links to a payment page. On that page, your customers can choose between various payment methods such as Mastercard, Visa and Bancontact. To be able to use the integration with Mollie, your business does need to be a Mollie customer.

Read the help article: Linking Billit to Mollie

4. QR codes for quotations

Finally, you can also allow your customers to sign a quotation digitally in Billit using a QR code. You can send the code by mail, WhatsApp, etc.

Read the help article: Allow your customers to sign quotations digitally

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Make it easy for your customers to pay invoices with QR codes