Hundreds of small business operators on board with JAM-DEX
Hundreds of small business operators in board with JAM-DEX . Photo: JIS

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is reporting that hundreds of small-business operators have registered with its digital currency, ‘JAM-DEX’, while a pilot project involving Government payment was successfully done.

According to Divisional Chief for Financial Markets Infrastructure at the Central Bank, Dr Novelette Panton, as at the February 18, 90 small merchants and 4,500 micro merchants were with the digital wallet, Lynk.

Speaking Thursday at a virtual forum organised by the Ministry of Justice, for justices of the peace (JPs), Dr Panton said that in December, JAM-DEX facilitated the first Government payment, using the system, for 72 individuals and 70 merchants, with transactions valued over $600,000.

“JAM-DEX is alive, and is being used,” she said, adding that barbers and hairdressers, fruit vendors, coconut vendors, persons in entertainment, carwash operators, taxi drivers and other persons are using the system, as it facilitates “instant processing” of transactions, online and offline.

“JAM-DEX is different from a regular bank account and is easier and simpler to obtain. Customers will be able to top up their wallet with JAM-DEX through all authorised agents, or smart ABMs (Automated Banking Machines), and do business using phone to phone with merchants, friends and families,” Dr Panton told her audience.

She said the system allows for the transfer of funds from regular bank accounts to digital wallets, and it cannot be accessed by unauthorised individuals, even if the account holder loses his or her telephone, as a password or code must be used to “have access to your money”.

Dr Panton underscored that the National Identification System (NIDS) legislation will play a major role in facilitating financial inclusion through the Central Bank Digital project, by enabling Jamaicans to access “simple and secure” financial products.

Currently, the National Commercial Bank (NCB) offers JAM-DEX through LYNK®, its digital wallet. Other wallet providers are expected to come on board for the distribution of JAM-DEX later this year.

JAM-DEX provides a safe, efficient and convenient way to pay for goods and services.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, recently announced that the first 10,000 merchants on board as of April 1, 2023 will receive $25,000 of JAM-DEX upon registration and onboarding.

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