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01.07.2004 Business & Finance

GCB ATM users express frustration

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Accra, July 1, GNA - Users of Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) Automated Teller Machines (ATM) have expressed frustration about the consistent dysfunction of the facility dubbed "Ready Cash" and called on the authorities to fix the machines or risk losing their loyalty. While the Bank's officials attributed the problem to a technical hitch, some customers said GCB had run out of money and called on the authorities to come out with the "truth".

Some of the disappointed customers who called at the High Street branch of the Bank Thursday morning, including a 70-year-old pensioner, who was visibly angered by the unreliability of the "Ready Cash" network, called for sanctions against those in-charge of the system.

The desperate septuagenarian told the Ghana News Agency that he needed money urgently to rush his grandson to hospital.

" I am even ready to sell my wrist watch to raise money but cannot get a buyer now."

A visit by the GNA to two other GCB branches on the "Ready Cash" network at Osu and the Trade Fair area, revealed a similar situation with some disappointed customers pouring vituperations on the Bank. Three "Ready Cash" card holders between the ages of 24 years and 32 years, who spoke to the GNA at the Osu branch, said they had tried to use the machine since Wednesday without success and quoted undisclosed sources of saying that GCB had run out of money, hence the non-functioning of the "Ready Cash" points.

"Even some of the customers who came here yesterday (Wednesday) with cheques did not get all the money they wanted. So you see, it's money problem. There is no money for the machines to count. They (the Bank) should tell us the truth, rather than throwing dust into our eyes," yelled one of the three men in an answer to a suggestion by the GNA that he could have used a cheque to withdraw money the previous day.

At the Trade Fair branch, the bank posted a notice expressing regret about its intermittent failure of the ATM due to a link problem. The notice assured users that management was working "fervently" to fix the problem but asked users to keep trying the facility.

This was buttressed by a senior official at the GCB head office, who told a journalist who is also a customer Wednesday evening that its data officers were working around the clock to resolve the problem. He refuted claims that the Bank had run out of cash.

Meanwhile, a general survey by the GNA revealed that most of the banks providing the ATM system in the country have not met their customers' satisfaction with the GCB ranking highest among those often criticised.