After the official outdooring of Ghana’s Universal QR Code on Thursday, November 19, 2020, Ghana has become the first country in Africa and 3rd country in the world to carry out a national Quick Response (QR) Code payment scheme.
Special in its ability to address the needs of both banked and unbanked consumers, Ghana’s Universal QR Code is the world’s first of its kind and is a crucial plank in government initiatives to ensure financial inclusion, and follows the successful introduction of Mobile Money Interoperability.
It helps consumers to make instant payments for products and services from various sources of financing (mobile wallets, cards, bank accounts) by scanning a smartphone’s quick response code or dialing the payment service provider’s USSD code and following the payment prompts.
Demonstrating the realistic application of the Code, Vice President Bawumia, accompanied by Hon. Ursula
Owusu Ekuful, Minister of Communications, bought and paid for packs of local waakye delicacies from the popular Auntie Muni on his phone.
“It’s a historic day today. Again we are moving to solve a big problem in our country, making it easier for products and services to be obtained and paid for,” Dr. Bawumia said delightedly.
Ours is an economy focused on currency, which is very inefficient. Historically, many have been excluded from the financial system, but with the advent of Mobile Money Interoperability and today, the Universal QR Code, we have been working since then to make Ghana’s economy a cash-lite, more efficient one.
“There are so many benefits of a cash-lite economy. It promotes transparency, prevents fraud, helps e-commerce and fintech development, and on this day of Covid 19, by using the QR Code, cash, which is a known spreader of the disease, can be avoided.
Vice President Bawumia announced that the QR Code has so far been rolled out by 13 banks, while Vodafone and Airtel-Tigo telecoms have also joined, with MTN on the verge of doing so.
Dr. Bawumia lauded the joint efforts of the Ministry of Communications, the Bank of Ghana, Ghana’s Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), telecommunications, and fintech for once again achieving the seemingly impossible, and pledged the determination of the government to ensure greater financial inclusion.