Business

Jamaican credit union members get 'shotgun' on mobile money train

NWC, Flow, LIME, Digicel part of pilot project starting Monday

BY SHAMILLE SCOTT Business reporter scotts@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 16, 2013    

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THE Jamaica Co-Operative Credit Union League (JCCUL) aims to introduce remittance and person-to-person transfers via mobile phones next year.

JCCUL has commenced phase one of the Jamaica Credit Union e-payment Services System (JCUES). Starting Monday, credit union members, through JCUES, will be able to make bill payments to National Water Commission and Flow with web-enabled devices, including cellular phones with GPRS, smartphones, tablets, and computers. They will also be able to conduct mobile top- ups for LIME and Digicel.

Life insurer, Sagicor Life Jamaica, and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) will later come on stream.

"Come January 2014, we will look at mobile wallet (in phase two) -- this truly represents how everyone can establish a wallet to do transactions, expanded in ways you can never imagine," said Heston Hutton, managing director of Centralized Strategic Services Limited (CSS), a subsidiary of JCCUL that provides strategic services to the credit union movement network.

This will also include business-to-business transactions, cash in cash out, he said.

Phase one, which goes commercial on Monday, will give over 200,000 members, of 12 of the 40 credit unions in the league, access to the JCUES.

Though customers will be charged to make bill payments, Hutton said the fees will be lower than what they regularly pay for the service currently.

While JCUES operates on a secured and sophisticated infrastructure, the system presents a simple and flexible solution for customers, said Hutton.

With US$5 million in investment, the robustness of the infrastructure is second to none, he said.

Customers' information will be secured and JCUES' infrastructure is maintained in a cloud system, said Kavin Hewitt, chief executive officer of Mozido Jamaica, the local arm of Mozido LLC, the company contracted as the technology service provider.

The company provides the various end-user channels, integration to third parties as well as connectivity to the JCCUL switch to enable transaction processing.

JCCUL is the first of seven companies to have received approval from the Bank of Jamaica to roll out the pilot phase of mobile money, which is expected to revolutionise the financial sector.

The credit union league will be subject to continuous assessment of the planned service by the central bank.

After a successful conclusion of the pilot phase, a final authorisation for the product will be given.

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