Stanbic Bank customers to readily access cash amidst frequent power outages in Ghana
Increased demand for solar energy is one of many consequences from Ghana’s power outages. As such, Stanbic IBTC, the Ghanaian unit of the South Africa’s Standard Bank Group has launched what it believes to be the first solar powered offsite (Automated teller machines) ATM’s in the country. The installation of these ATMs is in tandem with Stanbic Bank’s commitment to promoting positive environmental practices in Africa, particularly in Ghana which has been experiencing power outages for the last three years.
The power sector crisis in Ghana has created considerable consequences for the emerging economy. At a point many companies fired a lot of their workers as production decreased. Humorously, Ghana’s President, John Mahama, was nicknamed Mr. Dumsor; popular word for power outages in the country. These outages have also made it difficult for people to make financial transactions outside the use of traditional banks.
According to Farihan Alhassan, Head of Customer Channels Stanbic Bank, the installation of these machines will come as a relief to those who heavily rely mostly on ATMs to make financial transactions.
“As a customer conscious bank, we definitely need to make sure that clients readily access their money whenever they want,” he said. “We wanted to prevent the inconvenience caused to clients when ATMs are completely down because there’s no power.”
Power to each ATM is provided by up to sixteen panels, feeding a system that includes a battery bank, air conditioners and CCTV cameras. Valued at $17,000, the solar powered ATMs come with over 20 years of warranty and have the capacity of producing between three and five kilowatts. These solar powered machines will also help sustain the environment while reducing the pressure on the national grid.
ATM Manager, Stanbic Bank, Hendrix Glover explained that about GHS 3000 is spent on electricity and fueling of generator sets for each site every month. “[…] so this off-grid solution, expensive as it may seem in the short-term, saves us a lot of money in the long term.” Each solar powered ATM is estimated to save the Bank some GHS 36,000 in energy cost annually, thereby providing a reliable, cost efficient alternative to running ATM’s during the ongoing power outages.
Eight ATMs have been installed so far and the Bank intends to install about 20 more in very high traffic areas and areas that experience frequent power outages.
Over the years, Stanbic Bank has undertaken green initiatives such as the donation of solar powered lanterns worth GHS420, 000 to students in deprived communities in the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper West, Upper East and Western regions.
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