Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Lasco Financial Services launches money store

Published:Wednesday | December 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon
Jacinth Hall-Tracey

Lasco Financial Services (LFS) has launched a new brand for its suite of money services called Lasco Money.

The new brand will allow the company to better market each element of its financial services as well as develop other dimensions to the suite of products, managing director Jacinth Hall-Tracey told Wednesday Business.

"Within the LFS umbrella, we can take out different elements and form a campaign around them," she said of plans to increase the visibility of the services offered.

All things being equal, the company will also launch an online platform for the services it now offers, Hall-Tracey said, adding that the vendor barrel loan for micro businesses would also be improved.

Last month, the company relocated its Red Hills Road, St. Andrew, head office to the nearby former home of affiliated company Lasco Manufacturing Limited to create a more spacious environment, reflective of a banking hall.

The micro loan and money-services company also invested just under $3 million to set up a new location at Bay West Shopping Centre in Montego Bay, St James.

Those developments are in keeping with the modernisation plan of the company, Hall-Tracey said.

All LSF branches will be branded Lasco Money, reflecting the money store theme.

Speaking of the modernization thrust, Hall-Tracey said that the company would, in its next financial year, push to add the convenience of online transactions for its customers.

"We have to look at online. We have no choice. We have modernised the facilities. We have to modernise everything else," she said.

As to when the online platform will be rolled out, Hall-Tracey said that it depends on the feasibility of so doing.

"We are looking at next financial year. In addition to expanding, we started looking at the efficiencies within our business that will allow us to expand further. So we are modernising our accounting system and our loan offering, which will allow us to do all this online, (including on) mobile apps," she said.

 

Experimentation

 

The company had previously experimented with mobile wallet, and according to Hall-Tracey, this will be given added attention, noting that the company was exploring "the best options" that will find favour with its clients.

"We are pretty excited about the new financial year, starting April. We have spent all of last year laying the foundation," she said.

Lasco Money will also be offering a rewards programme, and Fontana and York pharmacies have already signed on to give money-back values to customers.

In addition, the iCool vendor barrel loans for micro businesses will be refined and expanded. A new dimension in the form of food carts will be added shortly.

The company is targeting meal carts to offer breakfast or lunch programmes in certain locations, Hall-Tracey said of the new initiative to be undertaken to gin up the product's performance.

Overall, take-up of the barrel loans has been "slower than we want", but the redefined push should change this, she said.

"What we are finding is overcrowding in certain areas, which is typical of the Jamaica market. One person has a good idea and then everybody crowds it, so we have to chose our spots carefully," she said.

"There is no point in giving a borrower money to create income and the full business plan behind it is not allowing them to make the money," she said. The Papine location has outperformed other stores in terms of the barrel loan, Hall-Tracey said.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com