Banks Turn To Cardless Atms

More banks are set to adopt a technology that allows their customers and third parties to withdraw cash from ATMs without a card. United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Energy Bank have deployed the innovation while discussions are ongoing with Access bank, Zenith Bank and Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) to follow suit. “We foresee a situation where ATM cards will fade out in the country just like in other parts of the world. Traditional ATM cards still present many challenges and inconveniences,” Mr. George Babafemi, Chief Operating Officer of e-tranzact Ghana, developer of the technology, told B&FT in an interview. “With the introduction of the cardless ATM technology, banks will be saved the cost of printing cards and ATM fraud will be drastically reduced. It is also a technology that will help decongest the banking halls,” he said. This new generation of ATMs works alongside a mobile-banking application that can be downloaded onto a mobile phone. Once set up, customers will be able to use their smartphone to request up to GH˘400 to be debited from their bank account and paid to them or a third party. In order to ensure that security is not compromised, a six-digit code will have to be correctly entered into the ATM machine before cash is released. The system requires customers to sign on to their bank’s mobile banking platform to enjoy the service. The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) this year announced commencement of the process of integrating the switches and ATMs of all banks to make it possible for customers to use their debit cards with any ATM, irrespective of the bank. The Chief Executive of GhIPSS, Fred France, has assured of his team’s commitment to integrate all banks within the shortest possible time. He said the interoperability will ensure easy banking, a move that could potentially attract the unbanked population to start using the banking system. “Once it becomes possible for bank customers to use ATMs of other banks, it will no longer be necessary for each bank to site as many ATMs as possible to achieve that convenience.” Mr. Babafemi said the integration of all banks and POS devices will drive the cardless ATM service. “It should add value to the national switch; this is an ATM value-addition. It will revolutionalise money transfer by combining all efforts in the ATM sector.”