Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Tech Times | Money goes mobile with GK MPay

Published:Monday | March 13, 2017 | 3:00 AMMickella Anderson

Say hello to your new virtual wallet. It's lightweight, convenient and always in your pocket. That's because it is your phone.

Introducing GK MPay, GraceKennedy Money Services' newest innovation, making money more mobile and giving consumers heightened flexibility and a renewed ease of access.

"You can do several services (with the app). It replaces your wallet, so whatever you would use cash to do, you'll now be able to do it from your phone," communication and sponsorship manager Yolande Gyles Levy told The Gleaner.

The service, launched in February, allows its users to carry out even those ordinary day-to-day transactions."You can buy jerked chicken, you can pay the cane man, you can pay the taxi driver or you can go to Hi-Lo to shop," said Gyles Levy.

 

How it works

 

Using the scenario of purchasing chicken from a 'jerk chicken man', she illustrated, "You simply go into the app; you would do a peer-to-peer transfer. He says, 'Your quarter of chicken is $500'. You say to him, 'What is your phone number?' and he gives you his phone number. You send him the $500, an SMS will come on his phone, which he would then take to the nearest agent location, provide them with an ID and he gets the cash."

With the app, consumers can also receive Western Union remittance from anywhere in the world, pay over 40 bills, top up mobile phones, send credit, send cash, etc between local mobile devices.

 

For Smartphones and

low-end phones

 

Interesting to note, too, is the fact that both smartphones and low-end phones can be used to access the service. Project manager Norval Wesley explained, "How it works, essentially, is just like how *120# is to check your (balance). Our code is *170#, which takes you to our USSD menu for the GK MPay app on the FLOW network. From there you're able to view all the services that are available on the app on those 'banagaz.'"

Acknowledging the common comparison between MPay's services and virtual spending via a bank account, Gyles Levy said, "it is not online banking because it is not linked to a bank account. All you need to have is a working mobile phone and for you to be registered. Our fees are simple compared to the banks - there's no fee to register, there's no fee to keep a GK MPay wallet."

 

How to register

 

To register for GK MPay, you must have a valid TRN and present it at any of the 40 agent locations (participating Western Union outlets) islandwide as well as a government-issued photo ID and the phone intended to accommodate the service. This means that the service extends itself to even younger Jamaicans, who can use their passport as a photo ID.

Currently, GraceKennedy Money Services are in 11 regional markets with Jamaica being the first and only to have the services of GK MPay. Wesley pointed out, however, "There is a world of opportunities that awaits, (so) at this time we're exploring all the opportunities, so stay tuned."