It has been some time now that I have been observing these life forms in Jamaica concerning the mobile wallet & consumer electronic payment service sector.
When I read and also heard on radio / TV some comments from the BOJ, I did the usual and paid no serious attention. I did this as I knew their utterances were clueless and useless to any savvy heavyweight in the sector.
Can you imagine The Federal Reserve Board of Governors (The Federal Reserves Bank of the USA) or the very least the SEC regulating a start ups seeking to offer mobile wallet payment services after meeting if applicable SEC guidelines?
Or even worst, can you imagine they interfering because the developer sought to integrate PayPay or any existing e-payment provider service that is a core component of their mobile app / mobile non telecom dependent e-payment solutions for consumers to pay bills online and mobile via the wireless hot spot?
Of course this would never take place, unless something out of the ordinary were to take place and cause such an intervention in Jamaica.
Well in glorious, under tech, under developed, stagflation economy nation, that averages about 1% per year economic growth, that being Jamaica. The Central Bank of Jamaica, known as Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is playing a major role in all aspects of “Electronic Retail Payment Services.”
Now I am not speaking about the specific section of this sector that has to do with monies being transferred from one device to another with no way of monitoring such transactions, as many locals do not posses a bank account, but seek to trade in money. Thus the money transfer business and the possibility of money laundering is a major concern for all.
To get a good understanding on the version of mobile wallet that the BOJ is concerned about, and also allows me to cut my blog post short. Visit the following I just saw today and read the article;
“Thursday, July 11, 2013
BOJ stalling on Mobile Money Regulations as new entrants appear – Herald for the Cashless Society as Smartphones and Mobile Money are The Perfect Storm and Curse of Chucky”
However I am addressing the concern that the BOJ actions in subject at hand, as interpreted by several innovators in the sector. That e-payments via a mobile device that includes the use / access of a debit or credit card being processed by payment provider such as PayPal and others like PayPal in order to pay bills, would be illegal if developed locally and deployed locally.
Which raises the question mark in subject heading. As such a move that would make such an act illegal, would be designed to protect the major companies, major banks, and existing bill payment brick and mortar companies in Jamaica from savvy innovative entrepreneurs entering the market and gaining market share in but a few short months.
Frankly I do not see that being the case, as use of PayPal on websites on PC or mobile is already old practice even in low tech Jamaica. Even Google has now begun to offer Google Pay.
What is important is that a mobile bill payment service comes on-stream while avoiding the legacy telecom sector, legacy banking bureaucracy, and government red tape.
In the end the local banking sector would win. As any use of a card for online transactions, would require such a local to either have an existing bank account or to create one.
Of course until a service provider in the states or other country allows for off sure banking accounts with access to debit and credit cards at low fees, and hassle free to sign up. Then things would get very interesting in Jamaica.