VISA International, the world acclaimed credit card operator, has invested over USD250,000 into the VISA National Net Settlement Service (VNNSS) Automated Teller Machine (ATM) common platform for five commercial banks in Ghana. The service, which will soon be unveiled, would ensure that domestic transactions are settled in local currencies among banks.

The need to have a common platform has been trumpeted by the Bank of Ghana for some years now, but it was not until this year that major significant gains were made. The move to see all banks having a common platform has not seen the light of day because Ghanaian banks want towork individually rather than pooling resources together.

Five banks are being powered by Visa International, thus providing customers with access to 84 ATMs and 442 point of sale terminals across the country.

The VNNSS would accommodate a range of domestic markets.

A member of the coordinating committee of the project, Mr. Eric Abeku Coffie, assured The Business Chronicle that all the five banks involved are ready for the start of the service because test runs had been successful. "The service has been running," he stated.

Mr. Coffie, who is also the card officer of ECOBANK, revealed that plans are under way to bring the other commercial banks in the country into the fold.

He noted that it would be more interesting if MONDEX, a platform being run by the Ghana Commercial Bank and the Agriculture Development Bank, would join this service to make it truly Ghanaian.

The platform, which would be managed by Visa International, has been tested and tried in 22 countries, with Ghana the first in the sub-region.