Skip to content

Is Sound the QR Code Alternative?

The QR code was designed in 1994 to allow for fast decoding speeds, hence the name Quick Response code. Rising in popularity over the years, demand for barcodes that could store more information, allowed for more variation, and would take up a smaller printing area increased. Today, QR codes are commonly seen on everything from restaurant menus to airline tickets.

Technology is constantly evolving. And it’s up to us to evolve with it.

It’s nothing to transfer data from one device to another through the cloud, Bluetooth, NFC or QR codes but are these the most secure methods? How can you guarantee the data being transferred to your wireless device or smartphone is safe? On a grand scale, how are business executives and IT leaders able to guarantee the security of their devices, employees and customers when data is being transferred?

Benefits of Sound Technology on a Global Scale

Ultrasonic data-over-sound technology offers a vast range of benefits, including offline data transmission, and serves as an alternative to other methods on a global scale. For example, consider an area where the transmission of radio waves is prohibited for security reasons like UK based power plant, EDF Energy. Sound waves are used as an alternative for data transmission and EDF energy uses this technology to communicate with mobile workers in their nuclear power stations and also to connect monitoring sensors in the plant.

Another, more relatable example is the Covid-19 pandemic. The need for contactless transactions and authentication methods arose practically overnight. Many companies turned to QR codes, relying on the ability to allow customers to scan their phones to pay or verify information. But what if there were a simpler or more secure method to collect payment information?

QR codes may be a widely available technology, but many business leaders are realizing that just because something is available for use, doesn’t mean it should be. Risk and usability factors make data-over-sound the better alternative when it comes to security and total cost of ownership.

Why Are More Businesses Turning to Sound?

Perhaps the biggest and most popular reason businesses are turning to sound technology over QR codes is because of the security it provides. Most eCommerce merchants accept payments via digital wallets, direct debit, payment cards and mCommerce mobile payments. 9 out of 10 companies encourage customers to pay via preferred methods like QR codes, to minimize risk of payment fraud. But what if you could reduce risk even further?

Let’s take a look at 2 primary reasons businesses are turning to sound technology:


Over the past few years, scanning a quick response code (QR code) has become a popular way to access paperless menus, carry out contactless transactions and more. Since early 2022, the FBI has warned that fake QR code scams are on the rise. These scams hijack normally safe QR codes and send you to phishing websites that steal your financial information (or worse). 

To avoid scams and fraudulent attacks, many are looking toward the safety and security of transmitting data over sound. For example, in retail, transit and event spaces, smartphone payments and ticketing applications use sound to convert standard speakers and microphones into high-quality receivers and transmitters for secure data transmission. Only necessary data is transmitted to complete on premise transactions, provide identity verification for entry and trigger location-specific marketing to deliver a huge advantage over other existing technologies.

Watch this short Youtube video to learn more about the security advantages of ultrasonic sound technology:

Total Cost of Ownership

Smartphone NFC and Bluetooth (BLE) transactions require a huge upfront investment, which is why many choose the affordability of QR codes. But QR codes lack safety and security. So what is the alternative?

With sound technology, you can improve payment efficiency by 67 percent over QR codes and eliminate the large per unit investment of $500 to $1,000 to upgrade to NFC readers. 

At LISNR we aim to help buyers and owners determine the  direct and indirect costs of our ultrasonic data-over-sound technology in the retail, transit and event space. We take pride in the ongoing lifecycle of our product by helping merchants, financial service providers and mobility companies improve equipment costs by 33 percent over QR code scanners. Contact us to learn more about how sound can help you improve costs and increase efficiency and security.

Experience LISNR Now

See how LISNR is used for different day to day experiences in payments, retail and mobility or choose to download a FREE trial of the LISNR SDK to implement in your own mobile application.