Business

New products planned for GK MPay platform

Sunday, March 11, 2018

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Slower than expected start to mobile payment platform GK MPay has convinced GraceKennedy Money Services to go back to the drawing board in an effort to create more traction for the groundbreaking product.

“GK MPay has started out slower than expected, but we are going to be adding new products to the platform including a companion card, and we expect that to be launched by the second half of next year”, said CEO of GraceKennedy Group Don Wehby during the company's investor briefing on Thursday.

The move is the latest thrust by the company to get Jamaicans, especially those who are not holders of bank accounts, into the formal system through the execution of a range of transactions from a mobile device including: bill payment, top-up of phone credit, make peer-to-peer transfers, and even purchase items from established merchants or sidewalk vendors.

At the same time, GraceKennedy hopes to win over Jamaicans receiving remittances after being approved by the Bank of Jamaica for users of the GK MPay to collect remittances via the platform in Western Unions across the island.

GraceKennedy launched the product a little over a year ago after developing the platform for roughly six years.

Wehby, in launching the platform last year, said the system is expected to bring greater support for financial inclusion — access to affordable financial services such as credit, insurance and saving — across the island, following reports of more than 30 per cent of Jamaicans said to be 'unbanked'. The International Monetary Fund has since urged the Government of Jamaica to establish a financial inclusion council as part of efforts to increase economic growth.

According to the company, GK MPay has the potential to revolutionise the way Jamaicans, especially the unbanked, manage finances and do business, since the platform allows consumers to conduct business at their convenience in real time, regardless of where they are located.

GK MPay is available in three tiers — bronze, silver and gold – with a limit of $150,000, as prescribed by the BOJ. By downloading the mobile application, a customer's account can be funded from different sources, such as cash over the counter at Western Union locations, peer-to-peer transfers, and business-to-consumer payments.

To withdraw funds from the mobile account, customers are also required to visit Western Union. GK MPay's fee structure ranges from as little as $5 for mobile top-up services and a person-to-person transfer charge of $150.

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