Commercial banks to use agents to offer service

CellMoneyKingston, Jamaica (JIS) — Passage of the Banking Services Act has paved the way for commercial banks and other deposit taking institutions to begin using agents to offer banking services to the Jamaican population.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday June 11.

Robinson said that banks will now be allowed to use agents to deliver a range of banking services including cash deposits and cash withdrawal (within specified limits); cash payment of bills and loan repayments; transfer of funds; balance enquiries; and collection of documents from customers in relation to account opening and loan applications.

“So, this opens it up for non financial institutions to become agents who will facilitate mobile money.”

Robinson also disclosed that the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) has received 13 applications inclusive of the Development Bank of Jamaica, the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League and from various entities for authorization to provide electronic retail payment services, primarily using mobile devices.

The State Minister said that the BoJ is in the process of preparing the necessary regulations to detail the criteria to be met in order for banks to utilize agents in the delivery of mobile banking services.

Mobile money will allow customers to carry out monetary transactions using their mobile phones and is expected to allow customers to check bank account balances and make payments via their mobile phones, as well as transfer funds from point to point.

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