The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) says it will launch a universal QR Code for all banks in March this year to harmonize QR Code payment systems in Ghana.
Currently, almost all banks have their unique QR codes for electronic payments, a development that restricts customers to only use their bank’s QR Code at a point of sale.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse explained that the interoperable QR Code solution will enable merchants to receive payments from various consumer funding sources on any platform.
He stated that merchants will receive payments by displaying a static QR Code generated by themselves or through an acquirer embedded with their details or by generating a QR code dynamically with every transaction using an electronic device.
“In addition to the QR codes, merchants shall have unique IDs assigned to them to facilitate receipts via USSD from customers who use feature phones,” he said.
2019 interbank payment performance
GhIPSS processed a total number of 38 million interbank transactions in 2019 representing, a 42% increase over 2018 in which 26 million transactions were processed.
The 2019 performance was driven by the growth in the use of the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP) service to move funds from bank accounts into mobile money wallets which grew by 1,224 percent when compared to 2018 volumes.
Similarly, transactions between mobile money platforms (mobile money interoperability) and services on the e-zwich platform also contributed to the growth in transaction volumes with 317 percent and 39 percent increase respectively.
Even though transaction volumes increased, the value of these transactions dipped by 8 percent from GH¢240 billion in 2018 to GH¢ 220 billion to 2019.
This decline was a result of the reduction in the value of interbank cheques that were cleared over the period.
While the value of cheques processed in 2018 was GH¢149 billion, for the same period in 2019, the total value of interbank cheques processed was GH¢124 billion representing a decline of 16%.
This decline was driven by the reduction in the value of interbank cheques issued by large corporates who form the majority of customers who issue cheques for business transactions.
In line with global trends, electronic payments in Ghana are gravitating towards mobile payment options, especially with the introduction of real-time and digital financial services.
Most organizations are also beginning to appreciate the security and convenience that come with the use of electronic funds transfer services like ACH Direct Credit.
The growth in the transaction volumes for the e-zwich services can be attributed to the use of this platform by the government for the payment of beneficiaries of most of its social intervention programs.
In 2019, the number of beneficiaries on the LEAP programme paid via e-zwich increased from 213,000 households in 2018 to 323,000 in 2019.