There is this weekly repetitive task I really hate: paying bills. Obviously because I prefer money going in the other direction, but also ’cause it’s so incredibly boring and time-consuming that for every transfer you have to type in the amount, the reference number and often the beneficiary details as well.
A few weeks ago, the Belgian bank KBC launched an app that allows you to manage your account on your phone. Let’s ignore for a second the fact that their password requirements force you to come up with an unsafe password, and let’s focus on a cool built-in feature called “scashing” instead: you can complete a money transfer between you and someone else using nothing but your phone (iOS or Android). The app makes use of a QR code to present all required data so that the other person can scan it with his own phone, using that same application. That’s all it takes. Really simple and convenient!
Now coming back to my initial sighing. Why can’t they apply that same concept to bills/invoices and print a QR code on each of those containing the data you would normally have to type in yourself. Then it would be just a matter of scanning, confirming, and done! I would love to pay my bills like that!
I can imagine bank managers are having a tough time right now struggling with their self-assembled Ponzi scheme, but I have good hope that in the near future one of them will see the light and eventually launch this idea.
You may have noticed it already, but the QR generator has been updated. Except for the aesthetic changes, it is now possible to create codes for data other than url’s: general text, phone number, email address, meCard, vCard and WiFi settings. The same export options are still available: PNG, SVG, PDF and EPS.
It’s also making use of the latest version of the ZF Matrixcode component which will make it easier to add more features and functionality in the future.
Check it out at http://qrcode.littleidiot.be
I had promised it for quite a while, and unfortunately things got delayed time after time, but finally I’ve managed to wrap things up and complete my Zend Framework module for generating QR codes in both raster and vector format.
In the end I refactored almost all the code to be more consistent with the architecture of the existing Zend_Barcode library (with a couple of differences however), so that took also a bit longer than anticipated.
I’ve released it as an open-source project on Google Code, so feel free to check it out:
You can also download the latest revision (r9) right here.
Any feedback is appreciated, and if you’d like to contribute, please let me know. It would be nice if other matrixcode formats could be added, f.i. Aztec Code or Data Matrix. The renderers do not need any changes as long as the 2D code format consists of square modules. Just pass them a two-dimensional array with boolean values and you should get the expected result.
Also be sure to check the Issues page as there is still a known bug with the encoding of a specific kind of string. Still need to figure that one out.
Hope you enjoy it.