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Ghana BoG Akufo Addo

As Nigeria goes cashless nationwide in April, Ghana unveils Universal QR Code

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As every other remaining part and states of the Nigerian federation is gearing up to nationwide implementation of cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Government of Ghana has concluded arrangements to new payment system known as the ‘Universal QR Code’ by March 24, 2020.

The target of the new innovation in Ghana is primarily to provide customers with an easy option for digital payment on business transactions across every part of the country.

Industry experts say the Universal QR Code is the world’s first interoperable payment acceptance solution and provides customers with an easy option for digital payment on business transactions, which reduces the technological challenges associated with operating cash-lite society.

Other key functions of the Ghanaian Universal QR Code include the allowance of merchants to receive digital payments without the use of Point of Sale devices.

Business Hilights Ghana Bureau Chief reports that countries that recently introduced the platform include Singapore, India and China, adding that the feat will stand Ghana as the first country in Africa to embrace that payment system.

Announcing the plan to unveil the Code at the opening of the maiden Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D) Conference in Accra last week, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said “The two-day event provides a platform for stakeholders within the financial, technology and development sectors in the country to deliberate, exhibit solutions and take stock of innovations within the digital financial ecosystem.

“It is on the theme: “Leveraging Mobile Technology to Drive Financial Inclusion,” being organised by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and the Financial Inclusion Forum Africa, a policy think tank in the financial sector.

The summit attracted policy-makers, regulators, bankers, payment system providers, electronic money issuers, and development partners with the objective to advance the country’s financial inclusion and ultimately attain a cash-lite society.

Dr Bawumia argued that “With the 137 per cent mobile phone penetration coupled with about 15 million mobile money wallets, representing 90 per cent of the country’s adult population, Ghana was at the threshold of leapfrogging many other countries worldwide in financial inclusion, which would reduce poverty and enhance economic growth.”

He said government was committed to leveraging on technology to advance the country’s economic security and, thus, entreated the Ministry of Communications and other related agencies to strengthen cyber-security protocols in the quest to transforming and modernising the economy.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Telecoms Chamber, Dr Kenneth Ashigbey, said the introduction of the Financial Services Act, (Act 987), was inspiring the financial inclusion drive, which would make the nation a global leader in the digital financial revolution space.

He re-affirmed the Chamber’s determination to leveraging on technology to improve service delivery, especially to create awareness on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and dispel fake news and rumours on it.

Dr Ernest Addision, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, in an address read on his behalf, said the Central Bank had extended the deadline of meeting the minimum capital requirement for all payment service providers to December, this year, after consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Also, all lenders are to use 50 per cent of their existing assets as part of the paid-up capital and lodge the remaining 50 per cent at the Bank of Ghana.

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