From March this year, anyone would be able to withdraw cash from any
automated teller machine (ATM) in the country, irrespective of which
bank you belong to.
This indicated that customers of Ecobank Ghana can withdraw monies from
ATM’s belonging to Standard chartered Bank, Barclays Bank Ghana, Ghana
Commercial Bank or Zenith Bank for that matter.
Same would apply for the National Investment Bank (NIB) or United Bank
for Africa or the Agriculture Development Bank.
This spectacular development is due to the completion of the software
meant for the E-Switch; one of the numerous payment systems the Bank of
Ghana intends rolling out this year.
The software has been designed and demonstrated to all 24 banks and is
only awaiting go-ahead in order for it to be started, as such, most of
the banks have already begun subscribing to it.
Subsequently, the building to house the head office of the department
which will supervise the common switch platform is also ready.
Reports indicate that the Central Bank intends fast tracking some of the
modalities meant for the common switch which will also appear alongside
the biometric smart card and the code-lining truncating.
It is expected that the entrance of the “common ATM usage” into the
banking system would greatly ease the sufferings of customers who have
to travel long distances just to withdraw money from their various bank
For this reason, it would then be possible for customers to withdraw
monies in their own vicinity.
Dr. Mahamudu, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana said that the
introduction of the common switch is part of the Central Bank’s move to
ensure that the operation of the nation’s banking sector moves in line
with current international standards.
He said the biometric smart card system is also part of the Central
Bank’s objective to attract the segment of the population that hardly
save with the banks to start doing so as statistics presently show that
less than 15 percent of the population save with commercial, savings and
loans companies or rural banks.
He was satisfied however about this new development saying that he
believed in a matter of time, the savings culture would improve.