VICE PRESIDENT MAHAMUDU BAWUMIA LAUNCHES GHANA AND AFRICA’S FIRST UNIVERSAL QR CODE

• “In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, economic activity must go on even with social distancing. People must buy and pay for goods and services like food and medicines to exist.

“The science says that there is a risk of transmission from every item that our hands touch. In a cash dominant economy such as ours, the risk inherent in the transmission of the coronavirus through bank notes is something we should be concerned about.

“This means that once the use of cash diminishes, the risk of the spread of the coronavirus through banknotes will also diminish.


DR. MAHAMUDU BAWUMIA, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA

The Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched Ghana’s Universal Quick Response (QR) Code and Proxy Pay system in Accra.


While QR CODE payment systems have been implemented in many countries (especially in Asia), very few countries have successfully implemented a Universal QR CODE.


With this launch, which took place on Wednesday, 25th March, 2020, Ghana becomes the first country in Africa, and the third in the world (after Singapore and India) to launch a Universal QR Code.

Launched online due to the vagaries of the coronavirus pandemic, and under the auspices of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPPS), a subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana, the QR Code and Proxy Pay systems are designed to make secure, convenient and low-cost financial service available to the vast majority of people, and to solve the pain points of traditional finance institutions.



“The Universal QR CODE will make it possible for all merchants, service providers and institutions to receive payments from bank accounts, ezwich accounts, mobile money wallets or internationally issued visa or MasterCards instantly” Vice President Bawumia stated at the launch, adding,


“Any merchant can have a universal QR CODE: e.g. chop bars, food vendors, barbers, carpenters or masons, musicians, shoe shine boys, khebab or ‘Kofi brokeman’ sellers, market traders, trotros, taxis, churches, mosques, schools, funeral committees, wedding organisers etc.  Basically, any business.”



The launch of the Code, which takes away the need to handle cash for transactions, could not have come at a better time, Vice President Bawumia indicated, as the world battles with the deadly coronavirus pandemic Covid 19, which is partly spread through contact with an infected person.


“In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, economic activity must go on even with social distancing. People must buy and pay for goods and services like food and medicines to exist.



“The science says that there is a risk of transmission from every item that our hands touch. In a cash dominant economy such as ours, the risk inherent in the transmission of the coronavirus through bank notes is something we should be concerned about.


“This means that once the use of cash diminishes, the risk of the spread of the coronavirus through banknotes will also diminish.



“It is therefore important that we do everything we can to expedite the wholesale use of electronic payment channels. It is now clear that electronic payments also have health benefits” he emphasized.


Vice President Bawumia explained that the Universal QR CODE will bring about interoperability across all telcos and across all banks and between banks and telcos.