Business News of 2013-12-20

Gh-link records more than 100% usage in five months

The latest data from Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) shows that the number of people who used other bank’s ATMs rather than their own banks has gone up by 100 per cent.

The feat was achieved from June and November.

When gh-link went live last year, the numbers that patronised the service was insignificant. It however went up to about 7,300 transactions in January and increased to more than 36,000 in June and shot up further to more than 82,000 in November, representing a growth of 127 per cent over the past five months and more than 1000 per cent from January and November.

The value of transactions has equally grown significantly, posting a growth of 139 per cent from GH¢ 4.2 million in June to more than GH¢10 million in November.

The Head of Cards at GhIPSS, Mr Mark Nyame Boateng said the continuous growth in patronage of gh-link ATMs is an indication of the convenience that it brings to customers.

He said customers expect better and more convenient service from their banks, adding that GhIPSS would continue to introduce various payment systems to enhance access to the public.

Mr Boateng explained that the shared ATM platform would eventually lead to a reduction in banks’ operation cost, as they would be more strategic in deploying ATMs and would no longer need to put them everywhere, because their customers could still get service from outlets of other banks.

He hinted that even the usage of ATM outlets would wane over time with the introduction of the hybrid Point of Sales Terminals, which would enable bank customers to shop directly with their cards.

The introduction of gh-link by GhIPSS, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana, has brought a closure to the phase of the country’s financial sector, when bank customers had to commute long distances in search of their bank’s ATM, which may not even be working.

Although the gh-link is currently limited to local ATM cards, officials of GhIPSS have met with their counterparts from MasterCard, and have agreed to also integrate the international card into the gh-link platform.