|Banks Work To Complete Integration To The National Switch|
|Wednesday, 01 August 2012 08:58|
Banks are working to complete their integration into the National Switch to ensure interoperability, which will enable bank customers to use their Automated Teller Machines (ATM) cards in any ATM machine and outlets.
Currently only bank customers with visa cards are able to use their cards with other Visa branded ATMs but with the completion of the integration process by the banks, all ATM cards will work in all ATM machines.
Although some banks have completed the process of connecting to the national switch, information available to Ghana News Agency (GNA) suggested that the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), want to have 15 banks complete the integration before the service is activated. Speaking in an interview, the Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, said work was on going to ensure that the interoperability became a reality this year.
He, however, declined to provide details of the timeline, indicating that the banks were working together with GhIPSS to ensure a successful completion of the project.
Mr Hesse expressed the hope that the payment system in the country would witness a significant change when the interoperability is completed.
He said while GhIPSS would wish that the system went live from the beginning of the second half of the year, it was equally important to take time to ensure the implementation was done in an efficient manner.
The GNA sources said October had been earmarked for the service to go live to the public.
However from the middle of August, the service would be available to staff of some banks and selected customers, on pilot basis.
Banks such as Zenith Bank, UT Bank, HFC Bank, CAL Bank, Ecobank Ghana and United Bank of Africa are among the first banks to get their systems ready.
Moves to ensure that all ATM cards work in all ATM machines, dates back a decade ago. It however crystalised with the establishment of GhIPSS by the Bank of Ghana to develop a robust electronic payment system for the country.
GhIPSS has since its formation some four years ago, introduced electronic clearing of cheques, an Automated Clearing House for Direct Credit and Debit, a biometric smart card called e-zwich, among others.
The GhIPSS CEO urged the public to interact with the banks to know the processes taking place within the financial sector particularly regarding the electronic payment system and plan their businesses as well as their personal finance to take advantage of the new products and services that are being introduced.