Three Nigerian banks have launched the universal quick response (QR) code payment system in Ghana to encourage cashless transactions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more countries now make use of the universal QR code system, with countries such as China and France adopting the system. Ghana’s universal QR system is the first of its kind in Africa.
Ecobank, Zenith and Fidelity are the first banks in Ghana to set up the novel universal Ghana Quick Response (Gh QR) facility. Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), Bank of Africa and the Agriculture Development Bank are three other banks in the country that have begun processes to allow the public make payments for goods and services using the universal Gh QR code.
Ghana’s central bank had collaborated with Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) and Hightech Payment Systems (HPS) to launch the universal QR code payment solution earlier this year, making it the first African country to introduce a universal QR code.
According to a statement by Western Telecoms and Engineering, the remaining banks are still working with GhIPSS and HPS in the process to enable them launch the Gh QR system.
Payment can be Made on Any Platform Using Gh QR
The unification of QR codes on a national level means that Ghanaians can make payments to merchants for goods and services, through any monetary platform using mobile wallets, debit/credit cards, bank accounts or any other acceptable payment option.
“Once you find the QR Code displayed, you just have to scan and you pay or dial the USSD code and pay, it is that convenient. Gh QR is universal so anyone can use any of them, regardless of your bank.”Mr Archie Hesse, GhIPSS CEO
A person who wants to make a payment for any transaction can do so by using the Gh QR systems installed by the Nigerian banks, regardless of the bank account from which the payment is made.
For instance, a Fidelity bank customer can pay for items purchased by using Ecobank’s Gh QR and vice versa. This is achievable because the QR system is unified throughout the country, connecting every bank and mobile wallet service.
According to Mr Archie Hesse, GhIPSS CEO, a wide range of micro, small and medium-sized businesses including small retail shops, pharmacies, local cafeterias, supermarkets as well as major service providers can all receive payments through the QR codes.
With Ghana having set a precedent for a viable way forward of making cashless transactions using the Gh QR post-COVID-19, more African countries may be willing to follow suit.
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