I wanted to use the Google Authenticator app to set up two factor authentication. However when I click on the button to scan a QR code, it opens up a camera with 'NAB Banking' at the top (my internet banking app). When I scan a code, it says 'Oops! This isn't a valid BPAY code.' (see screenshot below)

Is there some settings related to using the camera for QR code scanning, that my internet banking app has taken 'hostage'? (That I might hopefully be able to clear?) I didn't have the NAB app open at the time, and as far as I remember I have never used the QR code scanning from within it.


  • Google Authenticator 2.49
  • NAB: 3.0.1
  • Phone: Samsung Galaxy S3, GT-19305, Android version 4.1.2

qr codes taken hostage by nab

  • 2
    Could you try to go to the Settings > Apps > NAB Banking page and tap "Clear Defaults"? Does this still happen after clearing the defaults for NAB Banking?
    – dotVezz
    Jan 30, 2014 at 13:30
  • @dotVezz it already says "no defaults set". Jan 30, 2014 at 14:18
  • 2
    Stupid question: Do you have any QR reader installed at all? Maybe your banking app is the only one registered for barcode reading. No other candidate, no other choice.
    – Izzy
    Jan 30, 2014 at 14:47
  • @Izzy good point. I just installed an app which reads QR codes if I open it directly, but if I use the Google Authenticator app it still goes to the NAB reader. Jan 31, 2014 at 2:07
  • One more guess: maybe it can not be "any" QR app, but needs to be a specific one. Many apps use the ZXing library for barcodes, so you might give the ZXing Reader a try (though I prefer QR Droid :))
    – Izzy
    Jan 31, 2014 at 6:56

2 Answers 2


The solution for your issue can be found on the app's help page. As I already guessed, you need to install a barcode reader app. But not just "any", ist has to be a specific one. And moreover, even my guess for ZXing Reader was absolutely correct – if you take a closer look at the screenshot taken from that place:

Screenshot from the Google Authenticator help page (click image for original size)

Btw: The name "ZXing" stands for Zebra Crossing, but I doubt it can decode the Zebra's natural barcodes :)

As it reportedly works as well in this context, I recommend using QR Droid if you want to use the QR Reader for additional tasks as well. QR Droid has a much nicer interface, offers additional features, and gives you much more flexibility.

  • QR Droid works too. I think you just need a QR Reader that doesn't limit you to some form of data, and Google provided the most popular to help users that don't know :) Jan 31, 2014 at 7:17
  • If QR Droid works as well, as Shywim suggests, I'd prefer that over ZXing as it gives you much more flexibility (and has a nicer GUI ;)
    – Izzy
    Jan 31, 2014 at 7:23
  • Thanks @Izzy, great detective work! I installed QR Droid and now it works. No idea how you found that help page. Would be good if it was linked from the app itself. Jan 31, 2014 at 11:38
  • 1
    That's how I found it: It's linked from the app's description on Google Play, directly :) // One PS: My guess is your banking app also uses the ZXing library, and exposed its intents – so GA thought it detected the ZXing Reader itself... Thanks for the feedback on QR Droid, confirming Shywim. I will include that with my answer.
    – Izzy
    Jan 31, 2014 at 12:10

Maybe install a QR code reader from the app store. That's what I did when setting up Authenticator.

  • I just tried that, but Google Authenticator still goes to the NAB app camera. Jan 31, 2014 at 2:07
  • 1
    @pfctdayelise: In settings -> Applications -> NAB Banking -> tap on Clear Defaults Jan 31, 2014 at 7:18

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