Getting Jamaica Ready for Mobile Financial Services

Jamaica’s highly competitive mobile phone industry plus steady growth in financial services and remittances in recent years set the stage for integration and widespread use of mobile financial services. Significant advantages include reduction in transaction costs, greater efficiency and reduced costs to consumers. Stakeholders must address several important considerations such as regulatory regime, technical options and commercial arrangements.

With a well-established telecommunications base and extensive banking and financial infrastructure Jamaica is well positioned to introduce and benefit from a managed, integrated Mobile Financial Services (MFS) platform. Mobile phones have become indispensable over the past 10 years with active subscribers now attaining a penetration rate in excess of 100 per cent. Deposit and remittance inflows have, over roughly the same period, experienced annual growth rates of 8.76% and 5.8% respectively. At the same time, relatively small financial transactions are bedevilled by inconvenience and high negotiating costs. Taken together, these factors make a compelling argument for the development of an MFS sector which, experience elsewhere has shown,
can generate tremendous benefits for all stakeholders. An MFS platform would include mobile banking (m-banking) that is, the provision of account information; transaction opportunities; mobile payments (m-payments), and other financial services facilitated by mobile phones.


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