More bank customers are using Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of other banks, data from the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has shown.
The figures indicate that the use of the ATMs of banks other than customers own banks jumped almost 600 per cent to 49,349 transactions as at the end of August from 7,389 transactions in the month of January this year.
Weekly transactions also increased to more than 13,000 compared to about 1,400 in the first week of January while values rose from more than GH˘800,000 in January to more than GH˘5.9 million.
Speaking in an interview, the Head of Business Development at GhIPSS, Mrs Mary Dei Sarpong noted that gh-link is becoming the preferred platform because of the almost 1,000 ATMs that local ATM card holders can access.
The gh-link is an electronic platform, which connects 27 financial institutions including three savings and loans companies.
This implies that customers of any of these banks can use the ATMs of member banks.
The gh-link connects close to a 1,000 ATMs, making it the biggest and the most convenient platform compared to Visa and Mastercard in Ghana.
The platform currently accepts only local cards, but officials of GhiPSS say discussions have been held and shortly MasterCard branded electronic cards will also be added.
Visa is also expected to join soon while it is anticipated that rural and community banks will come on board.
Mrs Sarpong explained that the migration of savings and loans companies such as Ezi, First National, EB-ACCION and others soon to follow, indicates that customers of these companies can use the ATMS of universal banks and vice versa.
“The era where people went round in search of their bank’s ATM is becoming a thing of the past, because the next available ATM can be accessed,” she said.
The data showed that the topmost patronised ATMs by other bank customers are outlets owned by Ecobank, Societe-Generale Ghana, Agriculture Development Bank and Zenith Bank.
Mrs Dei Sarpong said the gh-link, banks which do not have ATM outlets in some parts of the country could rely on the outlets of other banks to provide services to their customers.
She said the level of growth in the use of gh-link ATMs is an indication that customers appreciate convenience and urged financial institutions to continue to work to create more convenience for their customers.
The GhIPSS Business Development Manager urged customers with local ATM cards to save time by using the next available ATMs and benefit from the technology.
GhIPSS is also working at converting the ATMs into hybrids implying that they would accept e-zwich cards.