Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to the most common questions concerning QR codes on invoices.

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  • About invoicing with QR codes

    • How does it work?

      The usingQR format makes the process of paying invoices faster and more secure. A QR code is created containing all the relevant information needed to pay a particular invoice, and the QR code is printed on the invoice document itself. The recipient of the invoice uses a bank app on their mobile device to read the information in the QR code and to approve the payment.

    • Who has introduced this format?

      Visma is the largest supplier of business systems and software in the Nordic region. We aspire to make life easy – not just for businesses but also for individuals. This is why we have developed a format to enable the payment of invoices using QR codes. The format is free to use for everybody – banks, software companies and for everyone else too.

    • Why introduce this format?

      The goal is to simplify and streamline the process of paying invoices. When payment information is presented in a QR code, paying the invoice only takes seconds.
      There is no need to provide the reference number, due date, recipient and other details manually, since all the information is included in the QR code on the invoice.

      We want the idea to get a lot of attention in the media in order for it to reach as many people and businesses as possible. In this way, the UsingQR format could quickly become established as a de facto standard.

      As the largest supplier of business systems in the Nordic region, we are in a position to make a real impact and to get huge numbers of invoices printed with a QR code on.
      And, just like our customers, we are individuals with bills to pay too. We understand how complicated and time-consuming the process of paying invoices online can be, along with the risk of making mistakes when details are entered manually.

      Technology such as QR codes, smartphones and bank apps provide tools that can greatly simplify these tasks.

    • Why should this particular format become the standard to follow?

      Having a single standard format that everybody follows is really important since people will feel more encouraged to develop and adopt solutions for creating and scanning QR codes. For example, if banks are to incorporate QR code support in their apps, having just one standard to follow is a huge advantage.

      We believe that QR codes on invoices will make an impact quickly, simply because of the vast numbers of invoices that are going to be printed with a QR code on as standard in the near future. That trend will not only encourage the development of bank apps but will also inspire solutions for interpreting PDF files and other scanned documents, scanning via web cameras on computers, registering payments via cameras at cash points etc.

      The lack of a single standard is also the reason why electronic invoicing has so far failed to make an impact on a large scale. Electronic invoicing is the future, but not right now.

    • Who can interpret the QR codes? Can my bank?

      Nordea Sweden has already implemented this solution in their app. Discussions are being held with a number of other banks in the Nordic countries. We believe that private individuals will be the earliest adopters through the use of banks apps on their personal mobile devices.

    • How supports printing of QR codes on invoices?

      ERP systems supplied by Visma Spcs in Sweden print QR codes on invoices as standard. In Denmark and Norway, Visma eAccounting includes QR codes as standard. Other systems in the Nordic countries will include support for QR codes in future updates.

      Invoicers as Visma Collectors in Sweden and Norway and Strålfors has support for printing QR codes.

    • How does this solution differ from OCR scanning?

      QR codes are easier and safer to use. All the payment information on the invoice is automatically transferred to your bank app when you scan the QR code. No extra information needs to be entered manually, so the risk of entering details incorrectly is eliminated. It only takes a few seconds to pay the invoice.

  • Why invoicing with QR codes

    • How does a QR code on an invoice benefit me?

      The QR code solution simplifies the process of paying invoices. You can scan the QR code on an incoming invoice using your mobile device and approve it for payment, without any extra manual processing. The procedure of paying an invoice takes just a few seconds.

    • Why should my business print a QR code on its invoices?

      A QR code containing payment information makes it easier for your customers to pay the invoices they receive from you. It is a great opportunity for you as a supplier to offer a fantastic service to your customers. Being able to scan a QR code directly from your invoice means your customers will save time.

    • As part of the banking industry, why should I develop support for this format in my app?

      This initiative offers banks the opportunity to simplify the everyday lives of their clients. The standardized structure of payment information also ensures that invoice payments are always registered correctly when the QR code is scanned, since no manual data entry is required. If enough people support the initiative, it will quickly become the de facto standard.

  • Getting started

    • In General

      For invoicing with QR codes to work, there needs to be software for creating and printing QR codes as well as scanner apps for reading them.

    • What is the format?

      The format is the structure describing how the information in the QR code needs to be presented. It enables a QR code to contain the same payment information as is printed on the invoice, so that the recipient has all the details needed to make the payment. The information in the QR code is formatted with JSON.

    • How do I use the format?

      The format we have introduced is easy to use. Invoice information is stored as a JSON formatted text string. To start with you must download the specification we provide. If you are not familiar with QR codes or the JSON format, we recommend you acquire a basic knowledge of these standards. Then you just have to start adapting your solution to use the format in the best way for your customers.

    • What is a QR code?

      A QR code is a two dimensional barcode. QR stands for Quick Response. The concept was developed by Denso Wave (http://www.qrcode.com/en/) with the aim of producing a code that is quick to read. QR codes have been circulated widely since their invention in 1994. The standard is openly available free of charge.

    • What is JSON?

      JSON is a compact text format used to exchange data between different systems. (http://json.org/json-sv.html).

    • What do I need to create a QR code?

      What you need is a QR generator. QR is today an established format and there are several generators available, both open source and commercial. The same payment information found on the invoice is the basis for the QR code according to the format we provide. You can find generators by searching for e.g. "QR reader open source" or "QR reader lib".

    • What do I need to read a QR code?

      You need a QR reader. There are many different QR readers available, both open source and commercial alternatives.

    • Which QR generators can you use?

      QR is an established standard and there are many services and libraries available to create QR codes. We have used two different generators that suited our solutions. Those we used are:

      libqrencode http://fukuchi.org/works/qrencode/

      ZXing ("Zebra Crossing") http://code.google.com/p/zxing/

      You can find generators by searching for e.g. "QR encode open source" or "QR encode lib".

    • Where should the QR code be located on the invoice?

      We recommend putting the QR code in immediate conjunction with "To Pay".

    • What do I need as a bank?

      As a bank, you need to be able to read QR codes via your app. You must therefore implement a QR reader. There are different solutions depending on how your app is designed. In order to interpret the contents you also need our format, which you can find on the start page.