Jamaicans May Bank on a Mobile Future

Monday, January 24, 2011

JAMAICA can choose a mobile phone-based financial services delivery system which targets those persons who currently do not have easy access to the established banking network.

Carl Rosenquist, a Chartered Information Technology Professional with the British Computer Society, was one of several industry experts trumpeting the development during the Mobile Financial Services Conference at the Terra Nova All Suites Hotel in Kingston in December, which aimed to develop a shared vision for establishing the most effective approach for the delivery of payments using mobile devices.

“What drives the choice of mobile payment systems architectures is the potential customer base,” Rosenquist said, adding that it is possible to extend services, such as interbank transactions, domestic, as well as international remittance, for those beyond the existing customer base of the country’s banks.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw said that a key pillar to sustainable development in any country is the expansion of access to financial services.

“For Jamaica, the primary goal is to increase the delivery of financial services for the unbanked,” he declared at the conference.

Mobile financial services use wireless handheld devices, such as mobile phones, to pay bills, do money transfers and traditional banking, as well as to execute other transactions.

Several banks now provide banking services using mobile devices as alternative delivery channels. Shaw pointed out that the country’s high level of cellular service penetration presents, “a tremendous opportunity to reach citizens in communities in the inner city and deep rural Jamaica.”

Source: Jamaica Observer (link opens in a new window)