São Tomé and Príncipe to connect to international banking network

The government of São Tomé and Príncipe will this month launch an international tender to adapt the country’s ATMs to the international system so they can handle Visa cards, among others, the head of the central bank announced.

Maria do Carmo Silveira, governor of the Central Bank of São Tomé and Príncipe, told Lusa news agency that the country’s situation was complex, because it wants to attract tourists but does not have a banking system that permits international bank cards.

The modernisation project has financing from the African Development Bank. Silveira said she expected that the Dobra24 network would be able to accept international cards within 12 to 18 months.

Miguel Reymão, director of Banco Internacional de São Tomé e Príncipe (BISTP), the island country’s top banking operator, said modernisation of Dobra24 was an expensive project that would cost “US$3 or 4 million.”

The price of integration in the Visa and Mastercard network derives from the need to obtain “several international certifications, especially regarding precision and security,” he added. (Macauhub/ST/PT)