The 3 leading Nigerian financial institutions are among six banks in Ghana that initiated the services to allow the public pay for goods and services through the universal Ghana Quick Response (Gh QR) code. The Ghana banks are GCB Bank, Bank of Africa, and the Agriculture Development Bank.
According to a statement by Western Telecoms and Engineering, the technology company that developed the payment system, the remaining banks are still in the process to enable them to begin the rollout.
With the QR code, the company said, customers only needed to scan the codes displayed at various shops and other outlets with their smartphones to make payment.
“Those who do not have smartphones can pay with their feature phones by dialing a code that will also be displayed at the merchant’s location. QR code is cheap and easy to set up. It is also a quick and secure way to make payment”, it said.
The new payment method takes away the direct contact associated with cash transactions, which makes it safer to use during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the company.
Ecobank had earlier deplored QR codes but could only be used by their customers. However, with the introduction of the Gh QR code, Ecobank has converted most of its existing QR codes of clients, to make them acceptable to all customers regardless of their banks. The other five banks have begun deploying their Gh QR codes at various outlets.
Western Telecom quoted the Chief Executive of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) Mr Archie Hesse as commending the banks that have started deployment and encouraged businesses to liaise with banks to have the Gh QR code installed to increase their payment options to customers.
“Hesse also challenged the remaining banks to quicken up the processes, as they risk losing their clients to other banks”, it said.
The QR code for payment is simple to set up as it only involves generating unique QR codes which can be a mere sticker posted on the wall of the shops or on a small stand.
“Once you find the QR Code displayed, you just have to scan and you pay or dial the USSD code and pay, it is that convenient. Gh QR is universal so anyone can use any of them, regardless of your bank”, Mr. Hesse said.
The GhIPSS boss added that a wide range of businesses including taxi drivers, small shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, chop bars, restaurants as well as major service providers can all use QR codes to accept payments.