Dec 21, 2011, 11:58 AM
Launched on 5 December 2013 at Senegambia junction, on Bertil Harding Highway, where the edifice is located, the e-branch is also expected to positively contribute to the development of the Gambian tourism industry, as it avails tourists the opportunity to conduct internet banking services and access the bank’s 24-hour visa-enabled ATMs as practised elsewhere in the world.
The launching of the branch, which houses about 4 ATMs and other facilities, is “testimony that GTBank is truly a pacesetter and leader in innovative banking in The Gambia”, says GTBank MD Olufemi Omotoso, while delivering his speech on the occasion.
Since the bank’s arrival in The Gambia nearly 12 years ago, it has “happily taken leadership in innovative banking”, particularly in technology-driven services.
“Apart from the numerous electronic channels across the country, we have grown from a single outlet bank in 2002 to 17 branches today. All these are geared to make banking more convenient for the growing Gambian market,” MD Omotoso said.
The e-branch is open for customers to carry out internet banking or withdraw money from the ATMs even after working hours, the MD said, disclosing his bank’s plan to put in place MasterCard-enabled ATMs before the end of the year.
“Given that a good number of tourists carry MasterCard, we are concluding arrangements to enable our ATMs for MasterCard very very soon,” he said. “We hope to conclude the arrangements before year end.”
The provision of 4 more ATMs in addition to the 13 the bank had in prior years and their network of ATMs now numbering 17 makes the bank the largest ATM service provider in the market.
“Plans are advanced to increase the number of our outlets to the provinces in 2014 and beyond all designed to cater for the increasing demand and convenience of our customers and stakeholders,” Mr Omotoso disclosed.
He explains further: “Our ATMs are now enabled for Airtime Vending. This means that our customer can now buy units or credit of Africell, Comium, Gamcel, or QCell from our ATMs.
“We are also very proud to announce that our partnership with the public sector has yielded some positive results. Our ATMs are enabled for NAWEC Cash Power Vending.
“The service enables customers holding our Cashplus debit card to buy NAWEC CASH POWER from any of our 17 ATMs strategically located within Banjul and the Greater Banjul area.
“It is our belief that with all these services, our customers’ need for cash will be remarkably reduced. Thereby fastening a cash-less society, which is the direction to the future.”
He said GTBank has also introduced GTCrea8 e-Savers account for students of tertiary institutions.
Products and services
Customers’ interest and convenience is foremost on GTBank’s agenda, says MD Omotoso: “Long before year-end 2012, our customers were already enjoying the following products and services: internet banking, VISA supported payment services (Visa enabled Point of Sale Terminals, 14 Visa enabled ATMs), slip-free banking, GTBank Electronic Notification Services (both on SMS and email), Guaranty Trust Automated Payment System (GAPs), Account statement rendition on required frequency basis amongst a host of others.
“In the current year, the Bank has introduced many more products and services while it also improved on the standards of the already existing ones.
“For example, in 2013, our internet banking platform has been upgraded with the introduction of the new internet Banking Token device to ensure a faster, safer and a more convenient experience.
“The GTBank TOKEN gives customers optimal protection against online thefts, hackers and fraudsters.
The MD also commended all those who contributed to the realization of the new development such as staff of the bank, the Central Bank of The Gambia, the Gambian government, and the esteemed customers of the bank.
The icing on the cake
In her remarks on the occasion, Tourism Minister Fatou Mas Jobe-Njie congratulated GTBank for building the first electronic branch in The Gambia and for its investment in a range of technology-driven products and services.
The Tourism Minister further noted the exemplary work of GTBank in The Gambia: “Since its establishment 11 years ago, GTBank has been very active in all sectors of The Gambian economy, especially in the development of tourism.I am reliably informed that GTBank is the only VISA Principal member in The Gambia and the only merchant acquirer issuing Point of Sale Terminals.
“I am also told that a leading hotel in the country has been co-financed by GTBank and International Finance Corporation (IFC - Commercial arm of the World Bank) and that there are 17 VISA enabled ATMs and over 50 Point of Sale Terminals located in major hotels, restaurants and supermarkets.
“The opening of this magnificent branch at the centre of our tourist development area is therefore the icing on the cake. All these investments are key in the development and promotion of tourism in The Gambia and that is the reason why despite my busy schedule I created time to be part of this launching. GTBank, this is truly commendable.”
Minister Mas Job-Njie also hailed the healthy relationship between the public and the private sector under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh, whose government continues to develop programmes and policies that will enhance the development and promotion of the private sector to enable it effectively perform its role.
According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs,Abdoulie Jallow, GTBank has continued to positively contribute to the development of the Gambian economy, through its services in the country, especially tax collection in tandem with GRA, employment creation and banking modernisation.
On the day of the launching, the bank also gave out some purchasing vouchers of D10.000 to each of the winners of its deposit promotion.