MasterCard Inc. said Wednesday that it is testing a mobile payments system in Australia that lets the user choose whether to use a bar code or an embedded payment chip.

The Purchase, N.Y., payment network said its QkR app (pronounced Quicker) is being tested in Sydney with the Hoyts movie theater chain and Commonwealth Bank.

Users are able to make purchases and pay for food by scanning a QR (quick response) code, a square-shaped bar code commonly used in printed advertisements and posters. The bar code provides information or launches an app when scanned by a smartphone camera.

The system can also work with a typed code or a near-field communication chip.

The QkR app "allows in-seat food and drink menu browsing, ordering and payment," says Matt Barr, MasterCard Australia's head of market development and innovation, in a blog post. The purpose of the Hoyts test is to reduce lines at the concession stand by allowing people to purchase food wirelessly from their seats in the theater.

QkR was first demonstrated by MasterCard's Labs team last year alongside a system for making purchases with Microsoft Corp.'s Kinect hands-free game controller, Barr wrote.