Mobile payments are growing in new, exciting directions, but some of their earliest forms are still prevalent. What's more, one of the first ways to pay with a smartphone is still convenient, effective and hugely popular.

QR codes simplify much of the technology necessary to get started with mobile payments. Instead of running on NFC, the payment type only needs a phone's screen to work. After that, the codes can be easily read by most scanners.

Read on for a look at why QR codes are still around and what opportunities they present for payments.

Mobile for everyone

Walmart recently announced Walmart Pay, its own mobile wallet. Wired notes that the system will operate on QR codes, which seems somewhat outdated compared to Apple Pay and other NFC options.

While NFC is becoming the standard for mobile technology, it's not available to everyone. This is especially true for Android Pay. Because multiple manufacturers build phones with the operating system, they don't all have the same technology and services.

As a result, some Android users don't have access to Android Pay. Additionally, many smartphone owners keep devices for years so their hardware isn't compatible with non-QR mobile payments tools because they lack the necessary upgrades. As technology progresses and consumers buy new smartphones, NFC may become the standard for mobile payments. However, it appears that future is far away, making QR codes the best choice for consumers at large today.

A bit of innovation

Despite being considered an older technology, QR codes play an important role in another payment type that many people are curious about and excited for: Bitcoin. The digital currency allows users to pay others without exchanging cash or using debit and credit cards. Because the Bitcoin is digital, it's struggled to gain much traction in the physical world.

QR codes ease that transition. According to Information Age, Bitpay allows users to send Bitcoin to recipients through QR codes. Instead of a complicated process, all parties involved can easily complete transactions thanks to a technology that's considered old fashioned. Moreover, QR codes for Bitcoin mean that businesses can more readily accept digital currency in brick-and-mortar settings, not just online. And after all, giving consumers another way to pay always helps boost satisfaction.

​​Why QR Codes are Still Viable Payments Tools