Policy Framework for ATM Operations
Guidelines for the Operation of Platforms for Automated Teller Machines and Point of Sale Systems in Ghana
1. The Bank of Ghana’s responsibility with regard to platforms for Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale Systems (EFTPOS) is to ensure an appropriate legal and regulatory environment, competitive market and high standards for cards, ATMs and ATM platforms. The Bank of Ghana (The Bank) shall also ensure that suppliers have the technical and financial capacity to deliver and support their systems.
2. In granting permission for the setting up of a platform and/or its operation, the Bank shall be guided by the need for an orderly development of the payment system. The following conditions shall apply:
i. The provision of ATM and EFTPOS services shall be limited to banks and consortiums of banks and other corporate bodies;
ii. The card technology must be ISO 8583 and EMV compliant while the platform/ATM system should be able to support different card types including smart cards, ATM cards, common credit and debit cards such as VISA, Mastercard, Europay, American Express, Diners Club etc.
iii. Platforms must be interoperable with international ATM and EFTPOS networks operated by companies with international reputation. To satisfy this requirement, the switching companies must be operating in North America or Europe.
iv. Banks applying for a domestic platform must meet the following requirements with regards to the number of banks, ATMs and the networking of a bank’s branches.
(a) More than four banks, minimum of 20 ATMs and 50% of the branches of each bank networked.
(b) four banks, minimum of 30 ATMs and 50% of the branches of each bank networked.
(c) three banks, minimum of 50 ATMs and 50% of the branches of each bank networked.
i. Domestic platforms must ensure interconnectivity and interoperability with existing domestic platforms within twelve months of commencement of operations. A programme for interfacing with other domestic platforms must be incorporated into the agreement of the banks.
ii. In the absence of a national domestic switch the number of domestic switches shall be limited to three. It is expected that the establishment of a national switch jointly owned and/or used by all banks will eliminate the need for other domestic switches.
Oversight and Public Policy Goals
3. The Bank will monitor and review ATM and EFTPOS services from
time to time and ensure that:
i. the legal and regulatory environment is appropriate and keeps pace with domestic and international developments;
ii. market structure remains satisfactory and the markets are functioning adequately with healthy competition among service providers;
iii. international standards are complied with in respect of infrastructures and cards to reduce risk and increase safety and efficiency; and
iv. the provision of services by the central bank is fair and based on objective criteria.
Consideration of Proposals For Operation of an ATM Platform/Switch
4. A formal proposal to establish and operate a switch shall be submitted to the Bank by three or more banks acting alone or in conjunction with a system supplier. Consideration of the proposal shall include but not be limited to the following processes:
i. Assessment and evaluation of the following:
– technical feasibility and financial viability of switch
– quality of risk management and measurement techniques
– existence of fraud and forgery prevention mechanisms
– quality of security infrastructure
– appropriateness of system rules and regulations
ii. Participation in the pilot project;
iii. Planning and testing of some of the system processes; and
iv. Any other issues the Bank may consider pertinent to the establishment and operation of the switch or platform.