Business

Sponsors ready for FNO

BY SHAMILLE SCOTT Business reporter

Wednesday, September 05, 2012    

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NATIONAL Commercial Bank (NCB) is on high alert for the spike in transactions set to take place this Thursday as the Jamaica Observer's Celebrates Fashion's Night Out (FNO).

NCB wants the five-hour shopping experience to be a cashless event.

"Leave the cash at home, it will be safer," the bank is urging shoppers.

Members of the financial institution were guests this week at the Observer's weekly Monday Exchange.

When cash is left at home, the chance of falling victim to opportunists will be less, said Tishan Lee, NCB's marketing manager, channels and consumer.

Over 2,000 stores in all parishes but two — St Mary and St Thomas — will participate in the event. Invariably, point-of-sales transactions and the use of automated teller machines will increase, and NCB, a sponsor of FNO, said all its divisions will be put on alert.

"You have to admit that there will be spikes in transactions that don't happen on a normal day, so you definitely need to prepare," said Julian Patrick, the firm's manager of sponsorship and promotions.

NCB will monitor the transactions of its customers from the machines. Backup systems are in place to deal with any repair and restoration work needed on the units, Patrick said.

He added that the bank will also strengthen its staff capacity, and the customer service centre is ready to provide support and is prepared to answer whatever queries may arise.

Over $1 billion is expected to float around at FNO based on Patrick's reckoning. The economy will grow through a cycle, he said, noting that money will flow not just to NCB and the merchants, but the staff who provides for their families as well.

"We looked at FNO not only from the merchant's perspective, but also from our mandate of 'Building a Better Jamaica'," said Patrick.

NCB cardholders will receive double rewards on their Visa classic cards, Lovebird Keycard, as part of the bank's cashless promotion.

After the shopping comes the time to relax and unwind.

Another FNO sponsor, J Wray & Nephew, will set up bars in Montego Bay and Kingston and St Andrew featuring its Appleton Jamaica Rum and Absolut Vodka brands, while select stores will feature special rum and vodka cocktails at no charge to shoppers. Between 200 and 300 customers will be catered to per outlet, said J Wray & Nephew brand manager Chesna Haber at Monday's meeting.

What's more is that three new cocktails from J Wray & Nephew will be introduced at FNO. These will be served at J Wray & Nephew and Fontana Pharmacy outlets in Montego Bay, as well as 22 stores in Kingston, Haber said.

When it's time for shoppers to head home after the long hours of buying merchandise — discounted by up to 70 per cent — the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will pitch in.

Some routes in the Corporate Area, Portmore and Spanish Town will be extended by two hours. The JUTC on a normal day, operates until as late as 10:30 PM.

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