Poor ATM services: Time for fresh ideas?

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There are different accounts relating when the first automated teller machine (ATM) was introduced in Nigeria.

In 2018, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki claimed he introduced the first ATM “twenty five years ago” (in 1993) when he was the chairman of Society Générale Bank before the use of banks. Saraki made the claim while addressing a motion on ‘Illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian Banks on customers account with focus on Automated Teller Machine (ATM) maintenance and withdrawal charges’, sponsored by Senator Olugbenga Ashafa.

First Bank however claims the first ATM was introduced in 35 Marina “as part of ease of convenience, round the clock banking” on May 4th, 1991.

That notwithstanding, over twenty years after the first ATM was introduced, the amount of machines deployed across the country as at 2016, stood at 17,398.  Out of these, nearly 73 per cent are owned by 12 commercial banks. These banks operate a total of 12,621 ATMs in the country.

The banks include First bank (2,779); United Bank for Africa (1,750); Access Bank (1,564); Zenith Bank (1,395); Guaranty Trust Bank (1,165); Diamond Bank (1,054); Union Bank of Nigeria (800); Sterling Bank (776); First City Monument Bank (770); Unity Bank (311); and Wema Bank (270).

With the banking population estimated at 40 million, the available ATMs are grossly short of the demand. This and other factors – including cost of running the ATMs – are responsible for the persistent poor services bank customers experience in Nigeria.

There are many things that determine the efficiency of an ATM. The process includes getting a good site for the ATM. The cost of the site often depends on where it is located. Sites in urban areas definitely cost higher than those in rural areas. If the site is … Read More...