In North America, QR code-based mobile payment apps from Starbucks and LevelUp generate a code for each user, and the merchant scans the code to accept a payment. In Brazil, PicPay is flipping the model and making the consumer scan codes presented by the merchant.

By creating quick-response codes for each product, "PicPay allows merchants to literally add a 'Buy Now' button on virtually any offline/online media," says Anderson Chamon, co-founder of PicPay. Consumers scan the QR code with a smartphone's camera.

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