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Seychelles Savings Bank
R4 million VISA project takes shape, bank launches new electron cards

The Seychelles Savings Bank has become a new member of VISA International, the outcome of a project which has cost the bank some R4 million.

As a result, the bank has started issuing VISA electron debit cards to account holders, enabling them to make withdrawals from any other bank's Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the country, displaying the VISA symbol.

Savings Bank becomes the fourth bank after Barclays Bank Seychelles, Nouvobanq and the Banque Française Commerciale to become a member of VISA International.

With this new development the bank's ATMs will be able to accept VISA credit cards from foreign visitors, but Seychellois will only be able to use the electron cards locally to make transactions in rupees. Up to now the bank has issued over 8,000 of these cards and has recorded positive response from clients.

Though the latest bank in the local banking sector to strike a deal with VISA International, the over a century old Savings Bank was in fact the very first bank in Seychelles. In the late 1800's it was attached to the Post Office and was known as the Post Office Savings Bank. At the end of the 1980's the bank was reactivated as the Seychelles Savings Bank under a new government's act, but took on the commercial status in the 1990's, where it launched an intensive programme to modernise its services and moved on from being the "common man" bank. Savings Bank has to date a clientele which is widely represented by all sections of the society.  

Speaking to Business Nation about this new development, the managing director of the bank, Mr Roger Toussaint, said it represented an important step in their plan to adopt new banking technologies and further improve the quality of their banking services.

"With the modernisation taking place in the banking sector, fewer account holders are going for direct banking transactions and the majority are going for convenient facilities," Mr Toussaint explained.

The ATMs available, he observed, were adequate to cater for the service, but revealed that Savings Bank had a plan to set up a fifth machine at its new corporate office at Orion Mall. The bank has four ATMs, one at its main branch at Kingsgate House, one at Camion Hall building, another one at its branch at Anse Aux Pins and one at the Ile de Palme terminal on Praslin. 

Besides the ATMs, the VISA electron cards can also be used at any retail outlet displaying the VISA symbol. Though not widely spread, Seychelles does have a number of businesses who have adhered to VISA International.

As part of its plan to introduce new banking technologies, Savings Bank is also working on a project to set up VISA POS (Point of Sales) terminals to retail outlets so that its clients can effect payments using the VISA electron cards.

As the inflow of foreign exchange increases, Mr Toussaint said it would be highly likely that the VISA card holders would be able to use their electron card overseas to withdraw cash.

Mr Toussaint said Savings Bank had chosen VISA International which is based in London, Britain, and not Mastercard or Eurocard, because it was more widely spread and had control over 90% of market share in the card system.

Somebody who holds a VISA automatically becomes a member of VISA International.

A Savings Bank VISA card holder will be able to withdraw a maximum of R1,500 from the ATMs, get access with their banking statement and check their balance.

 

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The Seychelles Nation Newspaper's office 
Long Pier Road,Victoria Seychelles, P.O.Box 800 
Victoria , Seychelles
Tel: (248) 225775 or 722680 on weekends & public holidays           Fax: (248) 321006 

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