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Banks to Use Agents to Offer Services

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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.

This was disclosed by Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, during his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 11.

The State Minister noted that banks will now be allowed to use agents to deliver a range of banking services, to include : 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,” Mr. Robinson said.

He also informed 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 added 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 person to person.

By Latonya Linton

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