NSW companies invested in COVID-19 tracing codes have been left reeling by the state government's decision to make its own QR code mandatory.
Currently, businesses across NSW have been allowed to use different sign-in methods to collect customer details, but from January 1 all must adopt the Service NSW QR code.
NSW venues that fail to comply will be slugged with a $5000 fine in the new year, with the state government announcing the change on December 23.
It's a blow for tracing systems already in use by hospitality businesses and aged care facilities, such as CoolGard developed by Australian company Pulse.
Pulse chief executive Ash Bosworth said the contact tracing system was well advanced of the free state-based application, which does not allow for extra features including facial recognition, customisable questions and postcode filtering.
"Soon after this announcement, we tried contacting the Premier's department but couldn't get through to anyone who could review the matter," Ms Bosworth said in a statement.
"The NSW government could easily provide us with an API key to allow CoolGard, and any system like it, to automatically upload all essential visitation and contact-tracing details into their main database.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the move in a bid to assist contact-tracers who were "working 24/7".
She said the Service NSW app was more accurate than others and could save a person's details for future ease.
Worried hoteliers and club managers had been in contact with Ms Bosworth who said they expressed dismay and concern over the recent announcement.
She hopes the NSW government grants an exemption for other contact tracing apps to be used and said given the CoolGard system was developed within the state this decision blows confidence out of the innovative technology space.