Vice President Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia says the nation will experience a sudden lifestyle change that will result in enhancing operations of small businesses, after launch of the universal QR Code in two weeks-time.
According to Dr. Bawumia, the universal QR Code will be first on the continent and is uniquely fashioned to adopt the national interoperability system – which will afford everyone with a mobile device the opportunity to instantly pay for goods and services, no matter the location, without a point of sale device.
A QR Code is a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.
Speaking at the maiden Mobile Technology for Development event organised by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Financial Inclusion Forum Africa and the Office of the President, Dr. Bawumia said the nation has done well in its drive for financial inclusion through mobile money services.
He said practically everyone with a mobile money wallet is deemed to have a bank account because they are receiving banking services; therefore, with the existing 15 million mobile money wallets, it means 90 percent of the adult population have been roped into the financial sector.
However, he expressed worry about the fact that many of the wallet-holders do not pay for goods and services via mobile money, but want to withdraw cash for payments.
“What we actually want is for the mobile money in that phone to be used to pay for goods and services. You should be able to use your mobile money to pay for it, and that is the only time we will be moving away from our dependence on cash.
“This is why I am excited about what we are about to launch in two weeks. The universal QR Code; this is what will get us there. The universal QR Code will allow us to use our mobile phones, whether it is a yam phone or smart phone to make payments.
“You can pay, and the seller will receive instantly what you have paid. So, people will not have to carry cash on them to Makola or wherever. Any seller, groundnut or waakye seller, you can have your unique QR Code and you can receive payment.
“So, this will be a very good vehicle that allows us to move toward a cash-lite society. You just take your Momo and pay,” Dr. Bawumia said.
He urged players in the financial sector to embrace the initiative and support government in the quest to use QR Code technology to drive the cash-lite agenda.
For the Vice President, this will greatly complement all the reforms the nation has clocked up in developing its payment systems.
“I think the banks and all of you have a lot of work to do to acquire merchants and so on. But don’t sit in your offices, learn from MTN; get onto the bus and get everybody on board,” he advised.