ENDS to get boost from QMallMonday, April 26, 2021
Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security Matthew Samuda is slated to update Cabinet on the readiness for a national roll-out of ENDS at the sitting of the Cabinet today.
One entity which will welcome the islandwide roll-out is the e-commerce platform QMall which will be partnering with the ENDS programme to allow vendors who do not have websites to sign up for free, bridging the gap between them and their consumers.
The ENDS, which was developed as a partnership between the Government and Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), is designed to ensure business continuity during the curfew hours imposed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
It allows any business or vendor, once approved, to connect to and leverage the islandwide network of delivery solutions to have their goods delivered safely and securely to consumers.
The pilot of ENDS started on March 25 with QMall's involvement in Portmore, St Catherine, with delivery partner, Get There Ja.
QMall is one of about 12 e-commerce providers who already have vendors on the ENDS platform and the company says it continued to reap success as the pilot initiative extended to Montego Bay, St James, and the Corporate Area.
“As the programme progresses, we anticipate more restaurants and merchants to sign up and join the programme. We are excited by the prospects so far, said Stacey Halsall Peart chief operations officer at Advanced Integrated Systems, the innovators of Qmall.
Already six restaurants have signed up with QMall and the reports are that the experience has been a good one.
“Being a vendor, Qmall is a platform I would definitely endorse. I found the process very simple,” said Simone Johnson, owner of First Bite.
“I was notified as to the orders for the customers and I was impressed also with the follow-up calls, also with the driver – the delivery guy who came to pick up the orders. He was able to present his phone with the app showing the orders for the customers. They were very courteous, very polite and prompt, so I was very pleased with that,” added Johnson.
Apart from the food vendors, QMall also has a wide variety of merchants offering a range of goods and services.
“The QMall platform is free of cost, convenient and easy to join. It includes no maintenance fees, low transaction fees and provides a variety of payment options not limited to credit, debit and Quisk,” added Halsall Peart.
In recent days, more businesses have been approved to operate under the ENDS in an effort to diversify services offered during the curfew hours.
The official ENDS website has also been upgraded to allow potential vendors in participating parishes to submit applications online. The public is being encouraged to visit www.ends.gov.jm to see the updated list of approved businesses.
It is expected that the ENDS pilot project will see significant expansion to other locations in the coming weeks as the Government seeks to balance lives with livelihoods.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness is expected to make an announcement on the schedule for expansion after today's Cabinet meeting.
The Government has repeatedly underscored that the ENDS is a delivery system built on equity and transparency and all e-commerce, quick service operators and delivery services will be able to participate once they have met the requirements to participate.