#Article (Archive)

GTBank Licensed as a ''Principal Member'' of Visa International

Feb 24, 2009, 6:44 AM | Article By: Baboucarr Senghore

Becomes the 1st Gambian Bank to Achieve the Status

Guaranty Trust Bank scored another 'first' in the history of banking and financial services in The Gambia when it obtained the approval of the Visa International in South Africa on 22nd January 2009, to be licensed as a principal member of the exclusive club of Visa banks and agents. Visa International, the owner of the Visa brand is a global leader in electronic payments that provides assurance of acceptance of the Visa Card at over 29 million locations and more than 1.2 million ATM's worldwide.

The principal membership status will enable GTBank Gambia to do a number of activities which include: the right to issue Visa cards under its own name and brand, provide ATM platforms that can accept Visa cards in The Gambia, whether such card is issued by GTBank or not, and deploy Point of Sales (PoS) terminals which would be Visa card enabled.

Visa International guards its brand jealously and an applicant bank for principal membership status has to meet a number of stringent financial and technical conditions, as well as, a demonstration of capability to manage the business before being considered for appointment. 

GTBank took the challenge of going through the process of appointment to add its own impetus to the growth of tourism in The Gambia. A direct link by a local bank to Visa platform would provide significant convenience to hotels, restaurants, travel agents, tour operators, car rentals, tourists, international visitors, diplomats and other holders of Visa cards.

Today, Gambian hotels face collection problems with visa card transactions carried out with them by their customers. This appointment of GTBank will put a smile on the faces of our hotel managers as the bank will be able to deploy Visa enabled PoS terminals to these hotels. Likewise, tourists and other visitors with Visa cards would be able to access cash and make local expenditures conveniently when GTBank completes its implementation process and deploy its Visa enabled ATM's and PoS terminals as part of its rights as a principal member of Visa.

Beaming a satisfying smile in his office and in a very delighted mood, the managing director of GTBank Gambia, Mr. Lekan Sanusi, said, "I am very proud of GTBank. It is a 'first class' solution provider. We could have taken the easier and cheaper route of being an Associate or Branch Licence member of Visa like other institutions in this environment. Neither of these two options would have provided the solutions and put that smiles we would like to see on the faces of our current and potential customers. Quite honestly, principal membership status of Visa card is capital intensive but, if you ask me, it is the total solution needed for The Gambia and Gambians, and I am happy that my institution is the one putting it on the table. It is both the 'clincher' and the 'ace'."

Guaranty Trust Bank within its first seven years of operations has established itself as one of the leading banks in The Gambia and continues to expand its branch network. It is now operating from nine locations with its head office along Kairaba Avenue, and eight other branches located in Banjul, Serrekunda, Senegambia, Brikama, Bamboo, Kanifing, Latrikunda Sabiji and Brusubi. 

The bank won the maiden award of 'The Bank of the Year for 2008' awarded by Gambia Chambers of Commerce and Industry.