Efforts by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) and its partner institutions to create awareness about GhQR are yielding results, as over 65,000 merchants have enrolled onto the electronic payment platform.
GhQR was launched in March last year, and about 24,700 merchants were enrolled by end of the year. But the number of merchants has shot up by almost 165 percent between January 2021 and now. The growth in number of merchants is the result of increased collaboration between GhIPSS, financial institutions, Electronic Money Issuers and FinTechs.
Although GhIPSS provides the GhQR platform, it is the partner institutions which enrol the merchants – as it is with almost all the services which GhIPSS offer.
GhQR is considered a game changer in the cash-lite agenda, as it is easier to set up, less expensive to manage, and currently payments via the platform have no charge to the customer.
GhQR is an electronic payment channel that enables customers to scan displayed QR codes with their smartphones and pay, or dial displayed USSD codes with their phones to make payment. Ghana’s QR code for payment is universal, which means that any customer whose bank or payment service provider offers the service can use it wherever it is displayed.
Speaking in an interview, the Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, commended partner institutions for their efforts in enrolling merchants onto the GhQR platform. He urged the other institutions which are yet to go live to complete their processes and join the league of players offering the service.
The GhIPSS boss hinted that a number of programmes have been lined up to drive awareness and patronage for the payment service at key shopping centres.
Mr. Hesse touted the benefits of GhQR, and urged enterprises to approach their banks, FinTechs and Electronic Money Issuers to set them up. “If you have a shop and you are not offering GhQR, you are making yourself less competitive as customers will prefer to go to outlets where they have a variety of payment options,” Mr. Hesse stressed.
Robbery concerns could force merchants to close their shops earlier than normal, but Mr. Hesse rather urged shop owners to consider offering more electronic payment options to limit the amount of cash they keep at their outlets. He also said with the fear of a third wave of COVID-19, it is imperative for shop owners to offer safer payment options to their customers – such as GhQR and other non-contact forms of payments.