Ghanaian universal QR code set to accelerate the pace for cash-lite society

Updated On : November 2020

Ghana’s central bank has launched a universal QR code payment solution, making it the first African country to introduce a universal QR code.

Ghana universal QR code roll-out allows customers to make Instant payments from different funding sources (mobile wallets, cards, bank accounts) by scanning a quick response code on a smartphone. This reduces the need for merchants to buy the dedicated hardware and eases financial management, supporting small business growth.

Further, Ghana is following in the footsteps of countries ranging from Singapore to Saudi Arabia. Singapore announced its Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR) almost a year ago as the country looked t to simplify its e-payments landscape. It was reported that Saudi Arabia was looking to launch a QR-based national e-payments system.

Only a few countries around the world are being a cashless state, although several nations are making moves to eliminate cash in the system. Sweden is one of the countries that are said to be cashless societies.

According to the news from Ghana on May 2020, a subsidiary of Ghana’s national bank, Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems has partnered with global payments solution provider HPS worldwide to launch its Universal QR Code and Proxy Pay platform. The solution will enable consumers to make instant payments from mobile wallets, cards, and bank accounts by scanning QR codes with their mobile devices.

Ghana is one of such countries that are making efforts to become a cashless society across the West African sub-region. Further to this effort, the Vice President of Ghana informed of steps being taken by the government to push towards a cashless economy. Among them were the launch of the National Interoperability platform and the introduction of a universal QR code payment system in a bid towards a cashless society in Ghana.

In Ghana, customers can directly pay by scanning a universal QR code through the MoMo account or the bank account. Hence the transaction will go smoothly to the Merchants Financial institutions. This QR Code is compatible with rural banks, savings, and loans. Both the smartphone user and non-smartphone users can avail this universal QR code. Where Smartphone users just need to scan the merchants' QR code and input the amount for the payment and non-smartphone users need to dial up the QR code and then do the payment. This way QR code payments go through instantly.

The rise of digital payments, which includes traditional debit and prepaid cards as well as mobile payments, has contributed to the steady shift in payment practices among consumers. As smartphone penetration and digital payments expand, so will cashless capabilities. For some businesses, a cashless business model is a strategic choice that provides clear benefits.

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