Solar powered ATMs. Pic credit Business World Ghana.
Solar powered ATMs. Pic credit Business World Ghana. Stanbic Bank
The solar powered ATMs have up to 16 solar panels, feeding a system that includes a battery bank, air conditioners and CCTV cameras. Pic credit: Business World Ghana.

In Ghana, financial services provider, Stanbic Bank has introduced solar powered ATMs to serve offsite customers unable to access funds due to power outages.

The solar powered ATMs, the first in the country, have been rolled out to provide a reliable, cost-efficient alternative to running ATMs during the ongoing power outages.

To date, eight ATMs have been installed and the Bank intends to install about 20 more in high traffic areas and areas that experience frequent power outages, CAJ News reported on Thursday.

Electricity to each ATM is provided by up to 16 solar panels, feeding a system that includes a battery bank, air conditioners and CCTV cameras.

The solar powered ATMs, valued at $17,000, come with over 20-years warranty and have the capacity of producing between three and five kilowatts.

Solar powered ATMs reduce toxins

The solar powered ATMs will also help sustain the environment while reducing the pressure on the national grid.

Hendrix Glover, ATM Manager at Stanbic Bank, said: “The generator sets that are powering our various branches emit a lot of toxins and that is certainly not good for the environment.

“It’s in the interest of society that we try and use the renewable sources of energy that have a negligible effect on the environment.”

Long-term ROI for the Bank

Each of the solar powered ATMs is estimated to save the Bank GHS 36,000 ($9,243) in energy cost annually, CAJ News stated.

Glover calculated that: “We spend about GHS 3,000 ($770) each month on electricity and fuelling of generator sets for each site.

“So this off-grid solution, expensive as it may seem in the short-term, saves us a lot of money in the long term.”

According to Farihan Alhassan, Head of Customer Channels at Stanbic Bank, the solar powered ATMs will come as a relief to those who rely on ATMs, rather than traditional banks, to make financial transactions.

Alhassan said: “As a customer conscious bank, we definitely need to make sure that clients readily access their money whenever they want.

“We wanted to prevent the inconvenience caused to clients when ATMs are completely down because there’s no power.”

Committed to the environment

The installation of the solar powered ATMs is in tandem with Stanbic Bank’s commitment to promoting positive environmental practices.

Over the years, the Bank has undertaken green initiatives such the donation of solar powered lanterns worth GHS420,000 ($107,830) to students in deprived communities.

Stanbic Bank Ghana is part of the Standard Bank Group, which has almost 560 branches and 1,223 ATMs in Africa, making it one of the largest banking networks on the continent.