The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) is wrapping up preparations for the launch of the universal QR code next month, Mr Archie Hesse, the Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), has said.
A QR code is a two-dimensional code made up of black and white squares that could be read by smartphone cameras, point of sale (POS) terminals or other devices.
It is scanned for payment but can also be used for other purposes.
QR code was first invented in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan and patented by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave.
It has since been used in many contexts, for instance marketing and information sharing, but it is now becoming a popular way for people to make mobile payments.
Mr Hesse said when the universal QR code goes live, banks and Fintechs will help shops, pharmacies, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and other merchants to set it up and display at their various outlets.
This will enable customers to scan the displayed codes with their smart phones to make payment.
Customers who do not have smart phones can pay with their feature phones by dialling a code that will also be displayed at the merchant’s location.
The GhIPSS CEO said the QR code payments could either be made with funds from any mobile money wallet or any bank account.
He explained that because Ghana has an interoperable payment infrastructure, customers can use any of these modes of payments.
QR code is an abbreviation for Quick Response code. It has been around for a while but begun making inroads from 2011 when two key payment apps, WeChat and Alipay in China started offering proprietary versions.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia gave hint of the launch of the universal code, which he described as a game changer for payments in Ghana and the first of its kind in Africa.
QR codes are less expensive to set up, convenient and easy way to make and receive payments, which will also ensure that every payment made hits the account of the shop owner instantly.
Mr Hesse urged merchants to start engaging their banks in readiness for the launch.