Tue | Oct 4, 2022

Gov’t to go digital with Christmas work payments

Published:Thursday | September 22, 2022 | 12:09 AM
Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke (left)  uses the LYNK Automated Banking Machine (ABM) cash-in and cash-out feature during the media launch at the Atrium, National Commercial Bank (NCB), New Kingston on September 20.
Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke (left) uses the LYNK Automated Banking Machine (ABM) cash-in and cash-out feature during the media launch at the Atrium, National Commercial Bank (NCB), New Kingston on September 20.

The Government is targeting payments to some persons engaged under the annual Christmas work programme for a pilot of the digital wallet platform, which is being examined for its suitability as the preferred means of disbursing state funds.

Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke explained that the move is also part of the Government’s thrust to encourage more persons to use JAM-DEX, which is the central bank digital currency (CBDC).

He said that using the digital wallet will increase efficiency and reduce the cost to the Government of disbursing funds for Christmas work and other project.

Through the LYNK app, persons will be able to receive payments using a smartphone, rather than having to go to a bank to cash a cheque. Clarke said he intends to offer his constituency, St Andrew North Western, to be part of the pilot for the digital payments and encouraged other members of parliament to do likewise.

He noted that the pilot will enable the Government to “assess the things we need to work on”.

“The Government wants to see the digital economy and society take hold, because that is the future. There are a lot of transactions that take place today; payments that are cash-based, which is suboptimal. I think of things like some of the work programmes, where people work at Christmastime and they make the place look good… all of those thousands and thousands of persons are paid cash.

“The prime minister has stated, as a goal, that eventually we want that to be paid through the CBDC, which has a number of advantages,” Clarke outlined.

He was speaking at the media launch of the LYNK automated banking machine ‘Cash in’ and ‘Cash out’ feature in New Kingston on September 20.

JIS