Customers of Rural and Community Banks will soon be able to use Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and other electronic products following moves by Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) to provide the banks with switching services.
Banks usually have to acquire their own switches to enable them undertake a number of electronic transactions, including ATMs, mobile banking and internet banking that bring convenience to customers.
Rural and Community Banks are unable to acquire their own switches to enable them to deliver the electronic based products and services due to lack of funds for such investment.
Mr Archie Hesse, Chief Executive of GhIPSS, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra said the initiative to provide the switching services would enable rural banks to provide improved services to their customers.
This, he said, could help increase the number of customers for the rural banks and deepen participation and patronage of banking services in remote communities.
GhIPSS has already invested in the national switch and therefore offering switching services to financial institutions only amounts to maximising the investment made in acquiring the platform.
“The provision of switching services for the rural banks means that they also can provide various electronic based products and services and yet avoid the initial prohibitive cost of acquiring switches,” Mr Hesse said.
Mr Hesse said the move would also enhance the goal of the Central Bank to deepen financial inclusion.
“Customers of rural banks should not be left out of the positive changes taking place in the financial sector simply because their banks do not have that financial muscle. They can share a common platform and reduce cost but enjoy the service,” he said.
The provision of the switching service will not be limited to rural banks but other financial sector institutions that might see it as more efficient to outsource their switching to a third party, Mr Hesse said.