The Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlements System (GhIPSS) says they will officially roll out the Universal QR code system in Ghana in March.
According to Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, explained that the QR code solution will enable merchants to receive payment from various consumer funding sources on any platform.
“This Universal QR code system will not be restricted to a particular financial institution or technology partner but this QR code system can be used by all. Funds can leave any bank account, any banks wallet and be lodged into any merchant’s bank account or wallet and this once again rides on the platform that the bank of the merchant, individual or wallet is with and it doesn’t matter which bank you’re with you have the possibility to make transactions,” he told reporters at an event.
Mr. Hesse also said GhIPSS will introduce a Proxy Pay system, which will allow organisations and individuals to pay money into others’ bank account by using the receiver’s phone number (for individuals) or name (for corporate) instead of a bank account.
The Ghana government will launch a “Universal QR code” next month as part of their plan to make Ghana in a cashless society.
Vice President Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia stated at the 3rd Chamber Business Awards that the successful implementation of the system will make it the first of its kind in Africa.
“We will introduce what we call the Universal QR code. It leverages the technologies that we have built. Once we launch the Universal QR code, all businesses and traders will essentially no longer need point of sale devices. Mobile phones will be sufficient to receive payment wherever, and will go directly into your account that you have received payment. This is going to start next month. Singapore, China, and the UK have all launched the QR code so Ghana is going to be the first in Africa. We are going to launch it next month so we move on to be a cashless society to make e-commerce enhancing.“
What Is A “Universal QR Code”?
QR code payment is a contactless payment method where payment is performed by scanning a QR code from a mobile app. QR Code Payments have been in use since 2012. They are used in almost every form of payment including buses, trains and in stores to purchase items.
The closest reference for a “Universe QR Code” is what Singapore launched last year. Dubbed “SGQR“, it allows Singapore merchants to no longer have to display multiple QR codes to accept different cashless payment schemes.
In Ghana, cash payments is still king with Mobile Money use steadily on the rise.
So will a “Universal QR Code” system be as widely adopted as the Ghana Government hopes?
Little On Details
There’s currently not much detail about thie new Universal QR Code that the government will be rolling out next month. Details about which payment types are compatible with the QR codes are still not known. Can you use a Card option with QR payments? Can it directly be linked to your bank account?
How will it work with feature phones? Does there need to be pre-registration to use the QR Code?
Although it’s great that the government wants to push for a cashless society, it’s tough to see how this might help move the process. Countries like Singapore and China have cashless societies because infrastructure and policies are very strong and use of smartphones is very high in those societies. Trying to emulate what they do might be the wrong approach.
The skeptic in us feels like this might be a rushed project. But since we don’t know all the details, it’s hard to break it down. For now, we’ll wait to see how the project works before passing final judgment.