Ghana is set to launch a Universal QR Code next month as part of effort to discourage the use of physical cash as a form of payment and boost the electronic way of doing business.
The Universal QR Code is considered the world’s first interoperable payment acceptance solution which provides customers with an easy option for digital payment on business transactions to reduce the technological challenges associated with operating cash-lite society.
Speaking at the third Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) awards Saturday evening, Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia revealed “next month, Ghana is going to be launching what we call the Universal QR Code.”
He said this would leverage on the already built technology in the country, saying “once we launch the Universal Code, essentially all businesses, traders and so on will no longer need Point of Sale Devices.”
“Your mobile phone, even if it is a yam (phones without android technology) will be sufficient for you to receive payment from everybody and to go directly into your account and know you have received payment,” he stated.
He said countries like Singapore which launched the platform last year and China which did theirs this year are using Universal QR Codes to develop faster.
When successfully launched next month as the Vice-President stated, Ghana would become one of the first countries in Africa to accept the use of Universal QR Code.
“Quite frankly, we will very quickly move into the cash-light or cashless society and it will really make a big difference…with the digital address system, it’s going to make e-commerce very enhanced; because once you order goods, you can pay for it and then it will be delivered to your house once the digital address is known,” he said.
Apart from that, he stressed the belief that it would also make it easy for government to receive and make all payments electronically.
On his part, President of the GNCCI, Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso I, said achieving global competitiveness was a shared responsibility which required a serious demonstration of commitment towards building the capacities of Small and Media Enterprises (SMEs) to be innovative and responsive to the changing trends in a globalized economy, with a call on industries to be innovative and digitized.
He emphasised the need to encourage businesses to be more creative in the areas of marketing, packaging, branding, pricing, delivery technology, cost optimization and effective customer care.
That, he said, was particularly important given the recent entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent