Dr Bawumia has launched all-inclusive Universal QR Code system developed for Ghana, as part of efforts by the Akufo-Addo government, to move the economy from a cash-based one to a cash-lite one.
Outdooring the QR Code at Auntie Muni’s, a popular waakye joint within the Cantonments on Thursday, 19 November 2020, Dr. Bawumia said the system is so flexible and easy to use for everybody to receive or pay for anything electronically.
“We are here to formally outdoor the Ghana Quick Response Code system or the QR Code, as it is known for short. It’s a very very historic day because we are solving a major problem here in Ghana and it is historic because Ghana will be the first country in Africa, to launch a QR Code payment system; and not only are we the first in Africa, we are also, as far as I’m aware, the third country in the world to do a Universal Quick Response System after Singapore and India”, the Vice-President said
ccording to him, even the QR Codes systems of Singapore and India “only cater for bank customers” but “Ghana’s QR Code system will cater for both bank and non-bank customers”, explaining: “That is those who use mobile money as well as have bank accounts”.
“So, in this regard, Ghana’s QR Code system is unique and it is the first of its kind in the world and, so, we have to be rightfully proud as Ghanaians that we have a technology to solve a problem that exists in our society but in doing so, we are really leading the world in this manner and, so, I am very proud here and it has taken collaborative effort”, Dr. Bawumia noted.
He said: “We just didn’t wake up and find a Universal QR Code in Ghana. The Ministry of Communication has been critical; the Bank of Ghana, GhIPPS, banks, telcos, fintechs – this is what is so unique about the Ghana story; it’s very very unique that we have had collaboration from all these stakeholders and we’ve been able to actually come up with this Universal QR Code”.
Explain its function, Dr. Bawumia said: “A QR Code, essentially, allows merchants or all people who receive payments, to receive the payments on their mobile phones. So, if you go, you can pay using your mobile phone; the merchant can receive the payment using the mobile phone, instantly”.
“So, you scan the QR Code and then you can confirm that this is the merchant and I’m paying this amount to the merchant, so, it’s very secure in that regard; it is very convenient”, he observed, adding: “We are solving a problem that has been with us practically since independence: we’re a cash-based economy and a cash-based economy is a very inefficient economy and we are cash-based because so many people are excluded from the financial system, so, we do a lot of financial transactions through cash, which means robberies can take place, as people carry cash around”, Dr. Bawumia noted.
He said the technology also comes in handy as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the world. Dr Bawumia used it to buy some waakye to demonstrate how it works.
To him, the coming into effect of the QR Code system means “is a very bad news for armed robbers”, since a lot of transactions would be done electronically now