The CEO of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS), Mr. Archie Hesse has described the national Quick Response (QR) System and the Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) as the silver bullets for Ghana’s cashless economy.
He stated that the two digital payment platforms, that are going to accelerate Ghana’s move into a cashless economy, are the recently launched national Quick Response payment system (GH QR) code and the Mobile money interoperability (MMI) platforms.
He explained this as the case, noting that, these two platforms are an extension, one of the other- GH QR builds up on MMI.
“The GH QR is nothing but a channel that sits on the Mobile Money interoperability engine. So, it is like having a system that is working, and adding a card and a point of sale to it.”
“So, the GH QR represents nothing but a point of sale. The system already exists and its working and the channel that we have added is the GH QR.”
He further mentioned that, to a very large extent, the mobile money interoperability platform has gained wider acceptance in recent times and the data clearly shows an upturn in usage. In comparison, he was optimistic that sales from the use of GH QR would mimic same trend alongside the MMI.
Recent data provided by the BoG on mobile money interoperability shows that as at October 2020, the total value of mobile money transactions had risen to GH₵785.7 million from GH₵101.6 million as at October 2019.
Correspondingly, the GH QR system revolutionizes the digital payment system by allowing near real time purchases to be effected, and this is happening for the first time, he added.
In addition, he pointed out that, the infrastructure and security features of these two digital payment systems are robust. In that, the upgrade in the security features with which the MMI operates is what has been designed for the GH QR.
“…we upgraded to ensure that we improve the various payment applications when it comes to security features that are needed and the reporting mechanism.”
“The upgraded version was what we used to roll out mobile money interoperability, that’s why we have peace throughout this time, although the volumes are high, and like I said earlier, GH QR rides on that same infrastructure.”
Ghana’s quest to go cashless has been tortuous and yet rewarding. Major improvements have been made over the course of time from the use of the E-Zwich to ACH direct credit and debit, GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP), Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) and now the GH QR code.
“…so in the last 12 years or so, there has been a systematic approach whereby everybody is now seeing electronic transactions as the order of the day.”
“…when we had the unfortunate incident of COVID times as well, you could see that physical cash was seen as one of the medium that the virus can propagate from one person to another.”
“Of course, everybody was shying away from cash and then electronic payments became the order of the day and at that time all the platforms were in place.”
Ghana is the first country in Africa and the third country in the world to roll out a national Quick Response (QR) code payment system.
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