The Role of QR Codes in the Evolution of Invoicing

The significance of QR codes in the modern world is steadily growing – even extending into financial transactions. A seemingly uncomplicated arrangement of black squares deeply impacts data accessibility, breaking down obstacles related to traditional data handling for businesses of all sizes. This article examines how invoice QR codes are leading the race toward the future by introducing new levels of efficiency, security, and adaptability. Whether it’s a corner store or a multinational corporation, adopting these pixelated images fosters a more inclusive and seamless invoicing ecosystem.

What is a QR Code?

A QR code, an abbreviation of ‘Quick Response Code,’ is similar to a traditional barcode but comprises squares rather than bars or lines. This allows the code to be scanned and present information in a machine-readable format.

QR codes were invented in Japan and were initially used in the transport and industrial sectors to streamline logistical activities, but they quickly gained much wider support.

The Purpose of QR Codes in Invoicing

Utilizing QR codes allows us to store various types of information in the form of numbers, letters, or symbols. However, the capacity of QR codes is limited and depends on the type of information.

It has also recently become widely used in ​​exchanging electronic invoices. As a simple means to incorporate important information in a graphical format, invoice QR codes enable buyers of goods and services to quickly and easily verify an invoice's or receipt's accuracy. In turn, the tax authorities are sure to 'report' the transaction to the office.

Global Adoption of E-invoice QR Codes

Although e-invoicing QR codes are not universally obligatory, even with the implementation of electronic invoicing mandates, as more countries move towards mandatory e-invoicing, an increase in the usage of QR codes is expected to rise correspondingly.


In Poland, for instance, the QR code must be placed on the structured invoice whenever it is used outside the National e-Invoicing System, KSeF. In other words, if a taxpayer decides to make a PDF invoice available to a foreign buyer, they must also include the QR code. Scanning the QR code using a mobile device allows any taxpayer to quickly and easily verify that the invoice matches the original data in the KSeF.

According to the KSeF regulations, the QR code should contain the following data: the invoice issuer’s tax identification number (NIP), the invoice issuer’s certificate identifier, the invoice discriminator (both of which are automatically generated by the KSeF system in combination with encryption keys), among others.


Turkish tax authorities require QR codes to be implemented starting from September 2023. The code applies to B2B and B2G E-facts, E-arsiv for B2C or B2B transactions for customers below a certain threshold, and E-delivery notes declaring the transfer of goods.


In Portugal, QR codes must be added to every paper or PDF invoice starting January 2023. The required elements in such a code include:

  • The tax number identifying the supplier
  • A unique UIDD or ATCUD code
  • The taxable amount
  • The VAT amount
  • A unique certified software number


Following in the footsteps of Poland, Turkey, and Portugal, the Indian government has mandated QR codes on invoices provided to buyers. In India, the QR code is part of the JSON file once positively verified by the system.

  • The QR code consists of essential e-invoice details, such as: 
  • The GSTIN of the supplier
  • The GSTIN of the recipient
  • Invoice number
  • Date of generation
  • Invoice value (taxable value and gross tax)
  • The number of line items
  • HSN Code of the main item
  • Unique IRN (Invoice Reference Number/hash)
  • IRN Generation Date

Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also decided to introduce QR codes. The solution is mandatory for simplified invoices (usually issued in a B2C relationship) and voluntary for tax invoices (used in a B2B relationship). E-invoicing solution providers are responsible for generating QR codes on e-documents. Scanning the simplified invoice code should display data such as the name and tax number of the vendor, total invoice value, and VAT value.


In the Basque Country, part of Spain, businesses are required to send invoice data electronically to the Ticket BAI system. This data is sent to the relevant provincial council's tax authority in real-time. Simultaneously, the certified reporting system must generate an invoice for the end customer, including a QR code (QR TBAI). The QR code contains data such as the parties’ names, the invoice number, the date, itemized purchases, and descriptions – providing sufficient information for the end customer to verify the accuracy of the invoice.

Embracing the Evolution of E-invoice QR Codes

E-invoicing in many countries is constantly changing, and QR codes for invoices are also an element of these transformations. These seemingly simple images serve as a significant convenience for taxpayers, instilling confidence in tax authorities regarding the accuracy and control of invoice data in the business cycle.

The examples above represent only a small fraction of jurisdictions that have opted to implement QR codes. Even in countries where it is mandatory to include them on documents, diverse solutions exist regarding when the QR code should be placed, what data it should contain, and where it should be positioned.

Hence, tailored commercial solutions aligned with legal requirements prove invaluable, ensuring that entrepreneurs need not be burdened with additional legal concerns, allowing them to concentrate on running their businesses.

Comarch e-Invoicing

If you’re seeking an e-invoicing platform that streamlines invoice exchange while complying with legal requirements, explore Comarch e-Invoicing.

Conduct B2B and B2G operations, automatically validate and convert every sent and received invoice, and leverage technologically advanced functionalities for higher data quality and lower operational costs. Learn more about Comarch e-Invoicing on our website or schedule a meeting with experts – we’ll be more than happy to help you automate your invoicing processes.

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