Accept payments quickly: Using QR codes for touchless payments

Whether you run a business with a shopfront or provide services to clients, how do you get paid if they can’t hand you their payment? One answer could be QR codes. When used correctly (and creatively), QR codes can give you a fast, touchless way to accept payments. No physical money changing hands, no receipts to sign, no need for face-to-face interactions.

If you have a PayPal Business account, it’s easy to create, print and share a QR code that’s unique to your business. You can use the same QR code for all of your customers’ purchases; there’s no need to create a separate code for each transaction. Your customers will need an account with PayPal to pay you.

Don’t have a PayPal Business account? Follow these steps to create one in minutes. If you need help at any point, please visit the PayPal UK Help Centre.

What is a QR code?

First, it’s helpful to understand what a QR code is and how it works. In short, a QR code – also known as a Quick-Response Code – is a two-dimensional barcode that you can scan with the camera on your smartphone or with QR-code reader apps. Once scanned, the QR code redirects you to a website or other destination.

Using a QR code to accept payments works in the same way. You can create a PayPal-generated QR code for your business. When your customer is ready to pay, they simply scan the barcode which will redirect to their PayPal account. They log into their account, enter the amount to pay, select their funding source – like a bank account, credit or debit card – and complete the payment.

How to use QR codes

We’ve put together a few suggestions for how you can use QR codes to sell your products and services. Get creative with how you share your QR code – in-store, online, by email, by text or on social media channels.

  1. Post a QR code in your shop window.

If you have a physical shopfront, you can print a QR code that’s specific to your business and put it in your shop window.

  1. Post a QR code at the point of sale in your shop.

If your physical shopfront is still open, you can print your unique QR code and post it at your checkout counter. When your customers are ready to pay, they can simply scan the QR code with their smartphone and pay you without having to interact with your point-of-sale terminal.

  1. Attach a QR code to deliveries or packages.

For businesses providing click and collect services, attach your QR code to the packages your customers pick up. If your business offers a delivery service, you can attach your QR code to your deliveries.

  1. Collect tips for your services.

If you run a business that relies on tips, you can share your QR code instead of accepting cash tips.

How to create a PayPal-generated QR code for your business

You can create a PayPal QR code from the PayPal Business app (available in the Apple App Store and Google Play) or from the web. It’s free to create and share your QR code, plus until 13th September 2020 we’re waiving transaction fees when your customers pay with a QR code. Terms apply[1]

Create a QR code from the PayPal Business app

  1. Download the latest version of the PayPal Business app on your smartphone or tablet. Open the app.
  2. From the Home screen, click the More icon in the menu at the bottom of the screen.
  3. In the expanded More menu, click QR Codes to generate your unique barcode.
  4. On the intro screen, click View Your Code.
  5. Click Save to Camera Roll to save it as a photo on your device.
  6. The PayPal app will ask to access your photos. Select OK.
  7. Print out your QR code and display it in your shopfront, at your checkout, or attach it to deliveries and order pick-ups.

Create a QR code from the web

  1. Navigate to https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/qr-code-download.  
  2. Click the Generate Your QR Code button at the top of the page.
  3. Log into your PayPal account.
  4. Once the page reloads, click the Download Your QR Code button. Your barcode will download to your computer as an image file. ­­
  5. Save your QR code, print it out, and display it in your shopfront, at your checkout or attach it to deliveries and order pick-ups.

How customers with a PayPal account can pay you

Your customers will need an account with PayPal to pay you. To pay, they simply open their PayPal app (available in the Apple App Store and Google Play) and select the Scan to Pay option.

  1. Download the latest version of the PayPal app (version 7.21.1) on your smartphone or tablet. Open the app.
  2. From the Home screen, click the More icon in the menu at the bottom of the screen.
  3. In the expanded More menu, click the Scan to Pay option.
  4. The PayPal app will ask to use your device’s camera. Select Allow.
  5. Scan the barcode.
  6. Click Send Money.
  7. Enter the amount to pay and click Next.
  8. Click Send Now.

Your customer can show you their confirmation screen to confirm they sent you the correct amount. You’ll see the transaction in your PayPal Business account or in the PayPal Business app listed under Activity. If you have push notifications enabled, you’ll see a notification that the payment was received.

That’s it! You can now share your unique QR code with your customers.

If you’re looking for other ways to accept payments, you can also: 

Stay safe and visit the PayPal UK Help Centre if you need any help.


[1] Fees are subject to change. Learn more about our fees.

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