Statistics released by the Ghana Interbank Payments & Settlements Systems (GhIPSS) indicate that many bank customers are using the interbank ATMs introduced by GH-Link in November, last year.
Patronage of the product increased by 183 percent from over 7,300 users in January to over 20,000 transactions in March this year.
This showed a significant increase in the number of interbank ATM transactions recorded over the first quarter of this year.
According to GhIPSS, a comparable increase in the value of transactions was recorded over the same period from a little over GH¢800,000 to GH¢2.3 million.
Between 1,500 and 1,700 people are using ATMs of other banks every week, data available from GhIPSS states.
In 2012, GhIPSS introduced the GH-Link Interbank ATM transaction switch, which enables ATMs of some 20 banks to accept all local ATM cards regardless of which banks issued them.
GhIPSS began discussions with savings and loans companies, which operate ATM cards to enable them connect to the platform so their customers could also access ATMs of commercial banks.
On a pilot basis, a minimum charge of GH¢0.40 has been set per transaction, but that is still being reviewed.
Some banks that have been hooked onto the system include Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), Standard Chartered Bank, Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Zenith Bank, HFC Bank, UBA, UT Bank, Prudential Bank and the Bank of Africa.
Others are Unibank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Stanbic Bank, Access Bank and Ecobank.
The Bank of Ghana hailed the system, noting that it would help meet the long-term objective of financial inclusion and make the country a cashless society.
Over the last four years, GhIPSS has been reforming the country’s payment systems to encourage more Ghanaians to embrace banking services.
Explaining further, Archie Hesse, General Manager in charge of Project and Business Development at GhIPPS noted: “If I need money, and I am with one bank, I do not have to go round looking for my bank’s ATM machine. I can redraw money from any ATM available. This will help increase accessibility and create a more convenient way of banking.”
By Samuel Boadi