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Business News of Friday, 25 January 2013

Source: GNA

About 1,000 ATM available to bank customers via gh-link

Customers with banks that are connected to the gh-link platform can now access their funds from about 1,000 ATMs across the country with their local cards.

This is because 17 banks now have their ATMS connected to gh-link and therefore share a common electronic platform.

Gh-link was launched in November last year by Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), to enable the banks to interconnect.

The interconnectivity makes it possible for their customers to use each other’s bank ATM.

The service is currently available to customers who use the local cards of their various banks. GhIPSS, however, is in talks with Visa and MasterCard to enable their branded cards to be hooked to the platform.

Speaking in an interview with the Manager in charge of Projects and Communications at GhIPSS, Mr Kwaku Tettey said the initiative was aimed at making more ATMs available and accessible to bank customers.

“Hitherto, customers with local cards could only use their bank’s ATM and we all know the frustration when your bank ATM is down. Today, you have almost 1,000 ATMs and counting at your disposal,” he said.

Mr Tettey encouraged the public to enjoy the “new freedom powered by gh-link” by using the ATMs of any of the 17 banks, which include most of the major banks operating in the country.

Between 1,500 and 1,700 people are using other bank’s ATM every week, according to data available to GhIPSS and the figure is expected to increase in the coming week.

Mr Tettey said three additional banks including Fidelity are almost through with the processes and would soon be connected to increase the number of banks on the gh-link platform to 20.

The Project and Communications Manager said the data also showed that customers of bigger banks are using the ATMs of banks considered to be relatively small, possibly because of the strategic location of their ATMs.

Mr Tettey added that GhIPSS has begun discussions with Savings and Loans Companies with ATM cards, to enable them to be connected to the platform, so that their customers can also access the ATMs of the commercial banks.

It is anticipated that all banks issuing ATM cards will be on gh-link by the end of the first quarter, which would mean that all cards will work in all ATMs.

GhIPSS has also expressed the hope that Visa and MasterCard branded ATMs would also come on board shortly. The 17 banks on the platform are Ghana Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Bank, Zenith Bank, Agriculture Development Bank and Ut Bank.

The others are Ecobank, Stanbic Bank, Access Bank, SG-SSB, Unibank, HFC Bank, Prudential Bank, United Bank for Africa, Guaranty Trust Bank, Bank of Africa and Energy Bank.

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