United Bank of Africa (UBA) Ghana has introduced yet another innovative product, UBA Africard, which is aimed at promoting branchless banking in the country.
“Branchless banking is the future of banking in this country and our introduction of the Africard is our way of promoting branchless banking. We feel compelled to continue to empower our customers by providing them with several options to conveniently access financial services,” Oliver Alawuba, Managing Director, said at Africard’s launch.
Unlike most debit cards, the UBA Africard is a visa-enabled reloadable cedi-denominated card which is not tied to any bank account and can be used on visa platforms and point of sale terminals around the world. Funds on the card can be accessed in local currencies in different countries.
According to Mr. Alawuba, the UBA Africard also provides the bank an opportunity to “bridge the gap between the banked and the unbanked with the right channel strategy that gives the customer greater flexibility in accessing basic banking services.”
The UBA Africard, which can be obtained instantly, can be used in the over 1.9 million ATMs and 30 million point of sale terminals across the world. It is Verified by Visa, which secures payments made via the internet.
“The card offers the opportunity to seamlessly transfer funds hassle-free. Per Bank of Ghana regulations, individuals cannot transfer more than US$10,000 dollars per annum on the Africard platform,” Mr. Alawuba added.
He said UBA intends to enter into arrangements with other financial institutions to make the product widely accessible. Presently, the product can be accessed from the bank’s 25 branches nationwide.
The bank, which was named 1st Runner-up in IT/Electronic Banking at the 2011 Ghana Banking Awards, last year introduced a first-of-a kind cardless ATM withdrawal service that allows a third party to withdraw cash on its ATM without a card.
UBA Ghana, which commenced operation in 2004, is a subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, West Africa’s largest financial services group with assets in excess of US$14 billion.