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Financial News

Jan 2016 Financial News

NCB to roll out mobile money product, other digitisation initiatives

Jan 27, 2016

Jamaica National Commercial Bank (NCB) Limited said last Wednesday it has successfully completed a pilot of a mobile banking solution and expects to get Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) approval for its use in 2016. The roll-out is awaiting final regulatory approval.

The bank indicated that it is spending in the region of $500 million to roll out this and a suite of other digital initiatives which will improve the customer experience in using money services and also affect internal operations.

Using Finovate 2014, software developed by US-based Quisk, Nadeen Matthews, chief digital and marketing officer, said the mobile money solution will enable customers to leverage their mobile phones to send money to family and friends and pay for goods and services.

The cashless and cardless solution, using multiple encryption levels and with other security features, allows cellphone users to have a mobile wallet for spending and transfers, using only their phone number and PIN. It does not require a smartphone.

Money transfer and point-of-sale spending limits were not shared. On deployment, the service will join the Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League’s (JCCUL) Connec, which allows maximum transfers of $150,000 daily.

NCB, on January 18, also introduced cross-banking, another digital solution which allows customers to transfer funds to other banks using its online platform.

Matthews noted that cross-banking allows customers to make same-day Jamaican dollar transfers to other local financial institutions. “Customers can conduct RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) or ACH transfers through the retail online banking platform. Customers will no longer need to visit the branch to conduct these transactions and they are also more affordable online. These transactions are also more secure than cash transfers and faster than cheque transfers,” she said.

Matthews, who was appointed to her new portfolio in late 2015, said that the digitisation initiative also included online account opening and remote cheque deposit capture offerings which will all be in the market by February 2016.

The investment also includes intelligent ABMs and kiosks which are part of NCB’s Bank on the Go programme.

In February, a new online portal will allow customers to initiate account opening and application processes for loans, credit cards, deposits, investment and insurance products with ease. Customers can submit supporting documents by scanning or taking a photo with smartphone/tablet and uploading.

Next month as well, the bank will introduce remote cheque deposit capture, a digital solution which allows business customers to scan and upload their cheques for same-day credit.

NCB said it had also introduced a new mobile tablet application for sales persons – Zap In – which was launched in December 2015.

“This allows sales persons to input customer product applications in real time and upload photographs of supporting documents. This ensures customer applications are input in a timely manner and reduces the level of manual work required by the sales persons upon returning to office after sales visits,” Matthews noted.

Other things to look out for in 2016 include free Wi-Fi in branch locations for NCB customers, it was noted.

The officer said that the new mobile money product is not the same one as that piloted with the Development Bank of Jamaica some three years ago. NCB is working with Advanced Integrated Systems (AIS) and Quisk to develop and roll out these solutions.

AIS is a local IT company. Quisk is a global mobile payments technology firm based in Lousiville, Kentucky in the United States.

The digitisation programme, Matthews said, is aimed at “primarily enhancing the customer experience and thereby ensuring customer retention and loyalty,” when asked about revenue impact.

But it is also expected to “enhance efficiency, productivity and the general long-term viability of the organisation,” she added.

She noted that currently more than 60 per cent of NCB’s customer base has leveraged alternative channels including Bank on the Go and online to manage their banking needs.


Business reporter
Jamaica Observer
Wednesday January 27, 2016