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Kenya Launches QR Code Standard to Increase Digital Payments Adoption

Kenya QR Code standard

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced the launch of the Kenya Quick Response Code Standard 2023 (KE-QR Code Standard 2023) to guide Payment Service Providers and banks on the issuance of Quick Response (QR) Codes for digital payments. The implementation of the Standard is expected to increase the adoption of digital payments, which will bring practical benefits to businesses and customers. This is a long overdue implementation and I am glad to se it finally happening. It is also good to see the CBK spearheading its implementation.


QR Codes are a machine-readable code that consists of an array of black and white squares containing information that provides an alternative option for initiating and accepting digital payments made by customers at various points of sale, such as supermarkets, shops, among other outlets. The use of standardised QR Code-enabled payments will allow customers to make digital payments in an easy, fast, convenient, and secure manner using QR.

If you have ever seen how We Chat implements QR code payments in China, then you know how effective and time saving it is. It makes it easy and quick for people to make payments without the many steps that we currently have to go through with some of the digital payment options we have inKenya.

Previously, customers had to manually input different payment codes and numbers, creating friction and cumbersome payment processes that are prone to errors. The implementation of the Standard will enable institutions of various sizes and customer focus to increase adoption of digital payments, promoting inclusion and interoperability across various institutions and mobile money networks.

The Standard, which is based on the EMVCo QR Code Specification, has been developed through collaboration between CBK, Payment Service Providers, banks, card schemes, among others. The Standard will be rolled out in a phased approach as these players align their operations to requirements set out in the Standard and increase customer awareness.

Also Read: What you need to know about M-Pesa Go, the new M-Pesa product for teens and preteens

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