Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday, 25 March 2020, under the auspices of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPPS), a subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana, launched Ghana’s Universal Quick Response (QR) Code and Proxy Pay system online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ghana, thus, becomes the first country in Africa, and one of only a few countries in the world to launch a Universal QR Code.
Dr Bawumia speaking at the launch said “we need to minimise the use of cash in the face of Coronavirus because banknotes, like anything we touch, are a transmission channel.”
He underscored that the Universal QR CODE will make it possible for all merchants, service providers and institutions to receive payments from bank accounts, Zurich accounts, mobile money wallets or internationally-issued visa or MasterCards instantly.
Any merchant can have a universal QR CODE: e.g. chop bars, food vendors, barbers, carpenters or masons, musicians, shoeshine boys, kebab or ‘Kofi brokeman’ sellers, market traders, trotros, taxis, churches, mosques, schools, funeral committees, wedding organisers etc.
Dr Bawumia urged every merchant or service provider to get a universal QR CODE from their bank, telco or a fintech as soon as possible.
“I also urge every adult to get a bank account or a mobile money account immediately. The QR CODE will work with both smartphones and ‘yam’ phones,” he added.
He noted that the Universal QR CODE provides Ghana with the vehicle to move towards a cashless economy and, therefore, encouraged every Ghanaian to get onboard.