The president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), Mr. John B. S. Davis III, has revealed that the Bank is about to introduce to its many customers by early 2015 its new product, the ‘Automated Tellers Machine’ (ATM) card.
Mr. Davis made the revelation recently at a program marking the official closing of the 2014 operational year of the “In God We Trust” Multi-Purpose Credit Union in Paynesville.
He said the launching of the bank’s ATM card was a defining moment in the banking industry in Liberia.
According to him “the pull effect of this development would transform the entire LBDI banking industry and will also benefit the bank customers and the general public.”
Further explaining the new product, Mr. Davis indicated that the card will be use in two ways—the ATM service and Money transfer, adding, “We don’t want our card to be like any other ATMs, because we are already in the ATM market. So we have to come with something promising for our customers.”
If one has an ATM card, he or she can automatically have access to do money transfer on it almost like MoniGram. This, he said, means that “If you use the ATM product, you can get money from other nations all across the country and nobody ever again needs to give you ten digit control number because the money will go strictly into your ATM card and once you insert your password you will definitely withdraw your money.”
He also spoke on the national payment system that was launched by the Central Bank of Liberia, so that once you are holder of the LBDI ATM card, you can cash a foreign check within two days; so you will no need to wait for 31 days because the funds will go through the national payment system.
Mr. Davis, who is also president of the Liberia Bankers Association, said upon the launch of the ATM card, the Bank will employ Liberians as a field agents.
The LBDI boss said the ATM is further to promote the self service culture, thereby putting control in the hands of the customer.
The deployment of these ATMs will a give boost to the customer’s ability to capture and mobilize deposits in line with customer lifestyles, he said.
It is headquartered in Monrovia and was established by the Liberian government and a number of foreign development companies to help develop the financial infrastructure in Liberia.
It was created by an Act of the National Legislature in 1961 under the joint initiative of the Liberian government and major international financial institutions who purchased equity in the Bank, namely: International Finance Corporation, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Capital Partners, European Investment Bank, the Agence Française de Développement, and Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungesllchaft, over 150 private Liberians, other international and local institutions. Foreign shareholding is 44.47% and local shareholding is 55.53%.
LBDI is predominantly a privately owned institution under private management and a Board of elected annually by its shareholders.
The Bank commenced operations in 1965 as Liberian Bank for Industrial Development and Investment.
Under an amendment in 1974, the name was changed to the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI).
A further amendment in 1988 allowed the Bank to engage in commercial banking activities, to complement its development objectives.