Intensive publicity on GhQR code is expected to begin shortly, to create awareness about QR Code and its benefits to shoppers and merchants.
The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) with support from financial institutions, FinTechs and other partners will use various platforms, including social media, as well as radio and television to educate the public and encourage them to patronise the service.
GhQR Code was launched earlier this year, after which financial institutions and FinTechs begun the processes to go live. Currently Ecobank and Bank of Africa have deployed the GhQR code on both mobile App. and USSD. The banks with GhQR deployed on their mobile App. only are GCB Bank, Fidelity Bank, Cal Bank, Absa Bank and United Bank of Africa (UBA). Those that have deployed on USSD channel only are Zenith Bank, Consolidated Bank Ghana, Agriculture Development Bank, with G-Money as the only non-bank institution.
Some other banks including Absa Bank, Access Bank, GT Bank and Republic Bank are at the verge of deploying the service. A number of non-bank institutions, such as Hubtel, Vodafone, Airtel/Tigo are also on the verge of deploying the service. There are other institutions including banks that are working on completing the process in order to also deploy the service soon.
A QR code is a two-dimensional code made up of black and white squares that can be read by smart-phone cameras, point of sale (POS) terminals or other devices. It is displayed at shopping or merchant outlets where customers can use their phone to scan for payment but can also be used for other purposes.
The QR code deployed in Ghana, is a universal one, which means that customers of different banks, Telcos and FinTechs can use any GhQR code displayed at a merchant location.
With the GhQR code, customers only need to scan the codes displayed at various shops and other outlets with their smart phones to make payment. Those who do not have smart phones can pay with their feature phones popularly referred to as ‘yam’ phones, by dialling a code that will also be displayed at the merchant’s location.
QR code is cheap and easy to set up. It is also a quick and secure way to make payment. It takes away the direct contact associated with cash transactions, which makes it safer to use during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking in an interview, the Chief Executive of GhIPSS Archie Hesse extolled the benefits of GhQR code and urged the public to use it in making payments. He explained that Ghana’s QR code is unique because it offers the option of “scan to pay” for those who have smart phone and “dial to pay” for those who have feature phones.
A wide range of businesses including commercial transport operators, small shops, super markets, pharmacies, chop bars, restaurants as well as major service providers can all use QR codes to accept payments, the GhIPSS Boss stated. As the Christmas season approaches, with Covid-19, merchants will be in good business if they deployed the GhQR code, to offer contact less payment service to their customers.