Juniper Research forecast an explosion in usage of QR codes on mobile devices outside of core Asian markets, driven by handset manufacturers adding scanning technology into native camera applications.

QR codes are the preferred payment method in some of the world’s largest mobile payments markets, primarily in Asia. However, usage is significantly lower across Europe and North America, where mobile payment technology is focused on NFC-based systems including those used by Apple Pay and Android Pay.

The analyst company said by building the ability to read the codes into native camera apps, device manufactures were widening its appeal.

Juniper Research senior analyst Lauren Foye said Apple’s incorporation of the technology in its latest devices “addresses a major barrier for use in Western markets”. She added: “The lack of an in-built reader had been a hindrance, with consumers needing to download a separate QR code scanner app”.

In markets using the technology for mobile payments, coupons are also delivered and redeemed using QR codes. In China, market leaders Alipay and WeChat both use QR code vouchers to add loyalty elements to their mobile wallet offerings.

Juniper’s study into the use of QR code coupons predicted the number redeemed globally would rise from 1.3 billion in 2017 to 5.3 billion in 2022, driven by the new scanning ability.