Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Gov’t to implement national payment system – Holness

Published:Wednesday | September 9, 2020 | 12:06 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness addresses the gathering during his swearing-in ceremony held at King’s House, St Andrew on Monday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness addresses the gathering during his swearing-in ceremony held at King’s House, St Andrew on Monday.

While asserting that his administration is committed to closing the digital divide in Jamaica, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced on Monday plans to develop a national payment system.

However, he said the Government will first ensure that most persons have a bank account.

To do this, he said the Government will pursue the use of low-tier Know Your Customer bank account to increase the number of people with functional accounts.

“We will ensure that all Jamaicans have access to financial services. We have seen where this is an important requirement for the proper management of the pandemic,” Holness said during his inaugural address at King’s House.

New laws will be passed, according to Holness, which will mandate that banks be more transparent with customers on fees and rates.

“We will introduce a national digital payment platform that will allow payments to be made seamlessly, productively, efficiently and with greater financial inclusion and security,” the prime minister asserted.

“This will ensure that all Jamaicans have an opportunity to enter into the formal space, the formal economy,” he added.

The prime minister did not give any specific timeline on when the payment system would be implemented.

But to set the platform for the digital upgrade of the Jamaican economy, Holness said all town centres will be serviced with free Wi-Fi and Internet access will be established at community access points.

Holness also said the public sector will be digitised. “We will implement a national identification system. We are far advanced in this regard where all Jamaicans will have the opportunity for robust and secure identity that will improve access to public services,” Holness said.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com