Odotobri Rural Bank Limited, with its head office at Jacobu in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region, in its quest to offer convenient banking services to its numerous customers has launched and made functional, its ATM services at nine of the bank’s eleven branches.
The branches are Jacobu, Obuasi, Bekwai, Asawasi and Maakro branches. The rest are Krofuom, Tafo, Bantama, and Ayigya.
The Board Chairman of the Bank, Mr. Bernard Asamoah Boateng, in an address underscored the need for convenience in modern day banking. According to him, the bank was committed to making its services more accessible with the primary objective of bringing convenience to the customer.
“ ICT has become very essential in modern day banking and the Odotobri Rural Bank is leaving no stone unturned in this regard and will leverage the available ICT platform to beef up its customer service”, he stressed.
He advised customers of the bank to take advantage of the bank’s growth in all aspects of banking to improve their businesses, as well as their livelihood. He finally expressed his profound gratitude to the customers and shareholders of the bank for their loyalty that had culminated in the tremendous growth of the bank.
The bank was also commended by going ahead of the ARB Apex Bank, which is the administrative body mandated by the Bank of Ghana to oversee the activities of all rural banks in Ghana, coming after Nwabiagya Rural Bank Limited at Berekese also in the Ashanti Region.
Meanwhile, the ARB Apex Bank Limited has also embarked on a project to roll out ATMs and its related services to rural and community banks nationwide.
The project, according to the MD of Apex Bank, Mr. Kojo Mattah, would offer RCBs’ customers the convenience of another channel in performing banking business on dispensers and point of sale terminals. The functionalities will include cash withdrawal, balance inquiry, account transfers, cheque requisitions among others.
The ATM services seek to enable RCBs to take their businesses to the next level with the use of cards and payment technologies.
The service will also enable secure and reliable interoperability between the RCBs, ARB Apex Bank, and Universal Banks which will eventually expand the clientele base of RCBs through e-payments interoperability.
It is also going to enhance market reputation and give a customer centric image to the RCBs as well as help to improve the income and deposit generation potential of the RCBs and align RCBs with present and future trends to enable them to continue to remain as competitive business entities.
In line with the objectives enumerated above, some infrastructure has been deployed as part of the ATM Project. Some of these infrastructures include thirty dispensers at selected RCB sites nationwide which are expected to be functional by August end.
Instant issuance of pre-personalised EMV cards which would enable customers to walk into any rural bank’s banking hall and walk away with EMV debit cards within a few minutes upon request.
Another relevant feature is the integration of the GH-Link network to facilitate interoperability between RCBs and all the Gh Link member banks in Ghana for transactions.
The ARB Apex Bank has, however, assured all rural banks that they would not be required to operate a deposit margin account as cover for liquidity needs of customers as pertained in arrangements with some other banks.
A council member of the Association of Rural Banks Ashanti Chapter, Mr Ignatius Kwamena Baidoo, in an address said the combined services of both the ATM and the human tellers implied more productivity for the banks during banking hours.
The customers will also save time in service delivery as an alternative to queuing in the banking halls and such time saved could be invested in other productive activities.
Again, as the ATMs are a cost-efficient way of yielding higher productivity and furthermore with its continual productivity after banking hours, Odotobri Rural Bank is set for higher profits and stands a better competitive advantage in the Rural and Community Banking industry.
Mr. Baidoo said as there were no perfect systems anywhere it was hoped that contingency measures would be anchored to address the operational challenges of the ATM services to sustain customers’ satisfaction and in maintaining a better competitive advantage.
As the RCBs had their greater customer constituents at the market places and as petty traders in the rural settings, he suggested that the talking language of the ATMs could, in addition, be installed with an option of local languages as pertained in the telecoms inquiry automated machines or systems.
According to him, this would make the ATMs more user-friendly without any assistance, there by attracting more of the unfortunate illiterate customers to use them.
The Executive Council of the ARB Ashanti Chapter has congratulated the staff of the Odotobri Rural Bank for their unrelenting efforts in ever improving their services through Information and Communication Technology (ICT).