High Tech Begging With QR Code
It’s the typical scene: a beggar shuffles over and rattles his tin.
You reach into your pocket, hoping to offer some spare change, only to realize your pockets are empty. Don’t despair, good citizen! While you have no coin to offer, pull out your smartphone and give that beggar’s tin a good, long look. You might be surprised to see a couple of QR codes taped to the side and one beggar working hard for some extra coin.
How so? Through Wechat of course! This social media app isn’t just for Chinese adolescents. Wechat has become increasingly popular amongst Chinese beggars as a means to get donations online. Not everyone has spare change to hand out so beggars have taken advantage of the Chinese consumer market, which focuses mostly on electronic transactions over cash, and have been using social media as a means to earn a small income. In order to create a donation page, beggars have used Wechat to generate unique codes that any passersby with a smartphone can scan. These QR codes are seen not only pasted to tin cups but some folks also wear their QR code around their neck. After scanning the code, the curious party is redirected to the beggar’s Wechat page where they can directly donate whatever amount through Wechat’s buying feature.
Due to Wechat’s flexibility, user-friendly interface, and unique ability to handle microtransactions, this app has also become the perfect tool to bridge the gap between businesses and the common man. Overtime, savvy companies have taken notice of these beggars and their unique donation system. Noting that beggars have ample opportunity to meet and greet over a hundred people a day, businesses have begun to reach out to beggars to collect Wechat IDs and email addresses. To do this, businesses print out their unique business QR code provided by Wechat and have the beggar wear or display the QR codes to the public. The beggar can only be paid if a consumer actually scans the code so many beggars have become salesmen, trying to increase the number of people that scan these money making codes. Some beggars go so far as to have multiple QR codes on their tin cups and lanyards in order to maximize their donations. After harvesting so many IDs, companies can maximize their profits further and sell this information to smaller businesses or other third parties.
Through this method of employment, QR Code Beggars are paid between 0.7 to 1.5 Yuan per ID, while the business gains increased brand recognition and Wechat views. This exciting, low cost advertisement opportunity has the potential to revolutionize the ability for businesses to connect to the common man on the street, while also increasing public relations by providing employment opportunities to the impoverished and needy. So the next time you see a beggar hanging around your establishment, instead of chasing them away, consider reaching out and establishing a deal with them. Print out your Wechat QR code and start gaining a little more traffic to your Wechat page with QR Code Beggars.