BoG to make universal QR code mandatory – GhIPSS boss

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President, scanning and paying

Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), Archie Hesse, has said the central bank will soon issue a directive that forces all banks and mobile money operators to restrict themselves to use of the GH QR Code and ignore any other.   

He noted that the new directive forms part of efforts to accelerate use of the universal quick response code (GH QR Code) payment system, to leapfrog the country’s quest to achieve a cash-lite society. Already, some 15 banks and three telcos are piloting the universal GH QR Code.

Before the central bank gave us [GhIPSS] the mandate, there were one or two institutions that had started their own QR codes; but that has not been successful because only their customers can use the code. However, the universal QR code can be used for every financial institution in the country,” he said.

He added that even before the BoG came up with the directive, GhIPSS had initiated some moves to draw attention to using the GH QR Code as it holds huge potential to transform the economy.

He said a lot of effort has been made to rope some 15 banks and three telecommunication companies into utilising the GH QR code. “All the banks are working toward it, but as we speak we have about 15 banks that have now gone live. When it comes to the mobile money companies, Airtel Tigo, Vodafone and G-money have gone live. I think within two weeks MTN will go live, and then we’ll have a universal QR code.

“Anytime you see a QR code you just use it; you don’t care whether the merchant received their QR code from a particular bank or not, you just use it. The benefit that will come with it is when you go to your merchant, you will not be looking for your merchant code. A universal system has been created for all.”

About the GH QR Code

Using the QR Code (a two-dimensional code made up of black and white squares that can be read by smartphone cameras, point of sale (POS) terminals or other devices including ‘yam’ phones) is very simple and inexpensive even for retailers.

All that a shop or a retailer has to do is to use a sticker with a QR code or download the merchant app and create a QR code to accept digital payments. Interestingly, both smart and ‘yam’ phones can pay through QR codes.

For customers with smart phones, all that they need to do is to scan the QR code displayed by the merchant or shop owner with their phones, and then enter the amount to be paid for goods they have bought. For customers with ‘yam’ phones, they can pay through the QR code payment system by dialling a code that will be displayed at the seller’s end for payment to be made.

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President, scanning and paying


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