By Emmanuel Okwii
Residents of Kumi town have expressed their concern about the poor ATM services offered by Centenary and Stanbic Banks in Kumi.
The Banks’ ATM service points have been switched off since Saturday June 15 with the responses “please take your cash” and “internal Processing, Please wait” displayed on the screens of the respective teller machines, leaving customers stranded without any other option.
According to Mr. Opio Alfred, a teacher who hails from Kidongole in Bukedea district, the switching off of the ATM machines that serve the entire districts of Kumi, Ngora, Bukedea and parts of Paliisa appears to be a ploy by the Banks to scavenge as much money as possible from customers who now resort to manual withdrawals that are doubly charged in the bank.
“Why is it that before salary is paid, the ATMs are functional? Even when you opt for a manual withdrawal service; you are still told that you can only deposit money because there is no network to run withdrawals. On the other hand, the charges are also exorbitant” the agitated Opio said.
Stanbic Bank charges 6000shs per manual withdrawal while Centenary bank charges 2000shs for the same service.
Ms. Lillian Kulume, a worker at the district also said that since this is a very trying time when there is scarcity, coming for a financial service only to be bounced back by the banks’ ATMs tantamount to persecution of customers by the bank.
“We have been waiting for salaries that overlapped into the month of March by six days and it is very disappointing to be told that you cant access your money even after that long wait” she lamented.
The manager of Centenary bank Kumi, Ms. Annette Nandelenga, allegedly told customers who had queued at the Centenary ATM on Wednesday evening that since the ATM is a machine that doesn’t talk; it would be wise for customers to wait until it responded.
“Standing or queuing at the ATM won’t help because right now it may not work. Kindly be patient till the network issue is sorted out and carry out your transactions as usual” she reportedly told a group of disappointed customers who had queued at the ATM machine.