No date set for JCCUL's e-payment system

BOJ says hold your horses

BY JULIAN RICHARDSON

Friday, March 16, 2012





It is unclear when the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League (JCCUL) will be able to roll out its new e-payment system to the public, following an order by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to put a hold on the offering.


Just over 24 hours before last night's well attended launch at the Half-Way-Tree Transportation Centre for the product, Jamaica Credit Union e-Payment Services (JCUES), the BOJ ordered the credit union league not to proceed with the offering until the central bank has been provided with the necessary information and has completed an assessment.


The BOJ, which is responsibile for the regulation and supervision of clearing and settlement systems, charged in a press release that it has not "received, assessed or signed off on the documentation and systems supporting the services proposed to be offered via JCUES."


"The Bank has advised the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League Limited - one of the main participants in the JCUES - of the necessity for the early assessment of JCUES to determine on that payment system's safety, efficiency and compliance with statutory requirements," stated the BOJ.


JCCUL in a press release yesterday announced its intention to comply with the central bank's directives. The organization noted that it "shares and support" the position of the BOJ and "has given an undertaking to the central bank that the League will not offer the product to our members, prior to being advised of the BOJ's conclusion of its assessment of this service."


However, JCCUL noted that because credit unions across the island already offers electronic services and JCUES, in their opinion, represents another channel for credit union members to access their accounts electronically, it saw no need, initially, to seek permission from the regulator.


"The new service represents another in a series of electronic services already offered by the credit unions across the island, which allow their members to access their accounts via the internet and mobile phones, in a manner similar to the Automatic Banking Machines or Points of Sale," explained JCCUL.


Claudette Christie, JCCUL corporate communications manager, told Caribbean Business Report last night that the credit union league is yet to be informed of a timeline on how long it will take the BOJ to complete its assessment.


"We have never done this before, so we have no idea how long it will take," Christie said.


Caribbean Business Report was unable to ascertain a comment on the matter before press time


However, an industry source suggested that it should take "less than a month" due to the fact that the credit union league is a licensed entity and already offers electronic services.


"It shouldn't, for example, take as long as a banking license, which takes months," said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.


JCCUL partnered with Mozido — a US-based global technology provider of a low-cost, multi-channel financial services platform for mobile network operators, financial institutions and retailers — in the creation of JCUES. The e-payment system for mobile top-up and bill payment is aimed at the almost one million credit union members island wide.


Forty credit unions comprise the Jamaican Credit Union Movement.


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