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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Automated GSM recharge commences

•As Interswitch connects CTL

Remmy Nweke

REAL-TIME payment solution provider, Interswitch Nigeria Limited, has interconnected with the Card Technology Limited (CTL) switches in the country, just as it unveiled Recharge Nigeria, a new way of recharging Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) phones through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

Chief executive, CTL, Master card franchise in the country, Mr. Ayo Arise, disclosed the seamless connection between the two electronic payment companies at the launch of the Recharge Nigeria in Lagos.

He said the imperative of interoperability of operators would engender growth in the industry and more access to Nigerians using smart card solutions for transactions.

The connection enables Master card users in the country to transact seamlessly within Interswitch deployed ATMs switches and vice versa. Even as both firms have taken their offers together to the Ghanaian market.

On Recharge Nigeria, would be available on 24 hours a day and is already accessible in over 800 ATMs deployed nationwide among its partnering banks.

Managing Director, Interswitch Limited, Mr. Mitchell Elegbe, said at the launch which coincided with the sent forth ceremony for its immediate past chairman, Dr. Evans Woherem, that Recharge Nigeria is a partnership struck between his firm and all the GSM operators in the country.

He noted that customers of these networks could top-up their credits as long as they have debit cards issued by over 23 out of the 25 banks in the country that scaled through the recapitalisation exercise of the Central Bank of Nigeria, last December.

According to him, there are now over 2 million Nigerian debit card holders, even as this was introduced to continuously encourage card users to gain more access to regular products such as airtime recharge.

“All the 800 ATMs currently deployed on the Interswitch network now offer the service, with more expected in the next few months,” he asserted.

He stressed that the Recharge Nigeria, is a value added and an indication of commitment of his firm to the Nigerian society via provision of technology innovation.

Marketing and Corporate Communications officer at Interswitch, Ms Taiwo Seriki, informed that Recharge Nigeria enables ATM users in the country to do more than withdrawing money, checking of bank account balances, view the last five transactions and even transfer funds.

One main merit of Recharge Nigeria, she said, is that users would not be afraid of scratching off the Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) as have been the case recently.

The event was attended by the newly appointed chairman of Interswitch, Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman among other dignitaries from Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and banking sectors.

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