Sun | Dec 4, 2022

JETS, giant of payment systems, celebrates 21 years

Published:Thursday | July 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMMikala Johnson
International connection – Payment system operators – Kirkland Morris (VP Interac, Canada), Edmundo Jenez (CEO, JETS Ltd, Jamaica), and Tony De Castilho (GM, Carifs, Barbados).
From left: Edmundo Jenez, CEO of JETS; Audrey Tugwell Henry, board chairman, JETS Ltd – NCB; Audley Shaw, finance minister; and Natalie Buckle, chief operations officer at JETS share a moment at the JETS anniversary cocktail reception held at The Worthington, Spanish Court Hotel, St Andrew on June15.

You might not readily recognise the name of the company - JETS - but you almost certainly know their work. JETS is a local entity jointly owned by seven of Jamaica's leading financial institutions, working together as one to enable islandwide access to payment services for consumers.

The JETS team, led by chief executive officer (CEO) Edmundo Jenez, builds payment systems platforms that are strategically and systemically important to Jamaica's financial industry.

JETS is the parent company of Jamaica's leading retail payment system. "MultiLink is the largest retail payment system by volume at 71 per cent," Jenez told The Gleaner.

One of the company's greatest achievements is that, last year on December 23, MultiLink hit a peak day-dispensing of more than $1 billion, to more than 100,000 cards.

There are three large-scale payment systems in Jamaica. JETS is the operator of two of these systems, MultiLink and the Automated Clearing House (ACH).

"The Automated Clearing House was a project initiated by the Jamaica Bankers' Association (JBA) to help improve the efficiency of the cheque clearing process." Jenez said.

Prior to the formation of the ACH, it could take seven to 14 days to clear a local cheque deposited at another bank, but with ACH, cheques can be cleared in as little as three days.

"Together MultiLink and ACH account for 98 per cent of overall payments system activities in the country," said Jenez.


Critical part of the financial landscape


MultiLink moves more than $15 billion per month and the ACH exchanges over $91 billion every month.

Jenez said JETS is a critical part of the financial landscape in Jamaica, providing support to enable more efficient payment exchanges in the country.

The company recently celebrated its 21st anniversary in fine style at a cocktail party held at The Worthington, Spanish Court Hotel, St Andrew. The many distinguished guests at the celebration witnessed the service awards for the tight team that makes the network possible.

"Throughout the month (of June), we are celebrating not only 21 years of JETS, but also the 20th anniversary of MultiLink and almost 15 years of ACH service. We are engaging in a broad range of activities to mark this occasion," Jenez noted.

Giving back to Jamaica

The activities he spoke of included a thanksgiving service, which was held on Sunday June 4 at the Swallowfield Chapel. JETS also donated $100,000 to the Youth Reaching Youth, which is operated by the church's education programme.

The Bustamante Children's Hospital also benefited from JETS' charitable activities. The company successfully completed a long-term project to install a critically needed heavy-duty industrial washing machine at the facility.

"The need for clean linen in the path to health recovery has been long underserved, and JETS was pleased to offer the $1.8 million machine to aid the excellent work of the island's premiere children's hospital," said Jenez.

Jenez also shared some of the plans JETS has in store for the financial system in Jamaica.

"We plan to introduce chip card technology to improve the security of debit cards in the coming months," he said.

This, he said would include a gradual rollout and replacement of existing magnetic strip cards to the more secure chip cards.

"We are (also) preparing the mobile payments space to enable inter-operability between systems and technologies to provide safe and convenient payments in that space. We are also looking forward to partnerships that will further enable online and overseas use of Jamaica domestic-issued debit cards," said Jenez.