A recent Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Remittance Report indicated an inflow in 2014 of 2.15 billion United States dollars*. With majority of these funds flowing through remittance companies, consumers are looking for faster, safer and more convenient options to access their funds. This demand has set the stage for digital remittances facilitated through mobile money.
Mobile money is a potentialgame changer which has the ability to transform the way consumersdo business, manage their finances and meet their financial obligations. They will have the option to load their remittances directly to their m-wallet account on their mobile phones and conduct their business at their convenience, in real time, regardless of where they are located. Consumers will therefore be able to use their mobile phones, both basic and smart, to pay for products and services, make bulk payments, pay a range of bills, do mobile phone top ups, plus conduct peer to peer transactions, without the hassle of travelling locally with cash.
Mobile money is a great option for everyone. Rural residents, who often face a host of challenges which prevent participation in the formal banking sector, will benefit as a bank account is not required to use this service while urban residents who often have time constraints and security concerns will also benefit from this safe, cashless and easy-to-use option.Applying for an m-wallet is easy;interested persons only need their Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) and a single picture ID card (driver’s licence, passport or voter registration) to complete the process.
Mobile money will support economic growth by allowing more people to participate in the modern transactional economy thus empowering positive change, and more control over one’s resources. It is also cheaper than traditional financial products.
The Jamaica Money Remitters Association (JMRA), is therefore urging the regulator, the Bank of Jamaica, to move speedily to approve mobile money licenses to remittance agencies, because of the potential it has to bring more Jamaicans into the formal banking system, and thereby supporting the country’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy.