The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced the introduction of the Kenya Quick Response Code Standard 2023 (KE-QR), a new standard that will guide the issuance and use of Quick Response (QR) codes for digital payments by Payment Service Providers and banks regulated by the CBK. The KE-QR is based on the Ghana Universal GHQR and is aimed at promoting financial inclusion and improving digital payment processes.
The Ghana Universal GHQR was lauded at the Mobile World Congress Africa in Rwanda for attaining maturity in access to financial inclusion. Kenya, represented by CBK, admitted to facing challenges in rolling out an effective universal instant payment system and sought advice from Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlements Systems (GhIPSS) on how to achieve such feat. In less than a year, Kenya has introduced a copycat version of Ghana’s Universal GHQR to enhance digital payments, while Ghana merchants are still underutilizing the GHQR.
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QR codes are machine-readable codes that provide an alternative way of initiating and accepting digital payments made by customers at various points of sale. The KE-QR will make digital payments easy, fast, convenient and secure for customers, replacing the need for manual input of payment codes and numbers, which creates friction and cumbersome payment processes prone to errors.