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Freeman Cebu Business

Two major ATM networks to merge this year – CBC

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The consolidation of the country’s two major automated teller machine networks will soon be realized in about a year’s time.

Cebu Bankers Club President Gino Gonzalez announced this on Tuesday after he received the information from a key official of electronic payment network BancNet which will soon be the surviving entity after it merges with Megalink.

In January 30 this year, a memorandum of agreement to merge the two ATM networks was signed at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas head office, with the Bankers Association of the Philippines facilitating the unification.

Expressnet, the country’s pioneering ATM network, was not part of the deal as BPI had already activated its membership in BancNet in 2013. This followed after other Expressnet members transferred to BancNet.

In an interview, Gonzalez said BancNet and Megalink will be integrated into a single network, making the system simpler and operationally more efficient.

This is also an answer to the call from the central bank to establish an efficient and inclusive retail payments system in the country.

The merger, which will be completed when Megalink members join BancNet through a membership activation process, will create a one set of operating standards, policies and procedures that all banks should follow.

If the two are combined, there are a total of 16,431 ATMs installed across the country as of end-2014 from just around 6,200 units in 2005.

“There will be more sharing of services and facilities; thus, individual banks may not need to develop and build their own infrastructure to meet the electronic banking needs of their customers,” the information sheet provided by CBC’s Gonzalez stated.

“There will also be more effective collaboration among all banks in terms of providing an efficient and secure ATM service.”

CBC currently has around 38 commercial, savings and universal member banks.

Currently, almost all ATMs are with either BancNet or Megalink. Gonzalez explained banks planning to put up ATMs in the future will have to join BancNet to be part of the national ATM network.

The Philippines has an expanded ATM cardholder base of 67.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2014. (FREEMAN)

 

ATM BANCNET BANGKO SENTRAL BANKERS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES CEBU BANKERS CLUB PRESIDENT GINO GONZALEZ EXPRESSNET GONZALEZ IN JANUARY MEGALINK PILIPINAS
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