Remittance options boosted for Filipinos

remittances

High demand for money transfer services from the Cayman Islands to the Philippines has resulted in a significant expansion of the JN Money Transfer network to the southeast Asian nation.

The Philippines is the mother country of nearly 2,700 work permit holders in Cayman, according to Immigration Department data for 31 December, 2012.

People in Cayman remitted approximately US$20 million per year in 2011 and 2012 to the Philippines, the second-highest amount per country after Jamaica, according to Cayman Islands Monetary Authority statistics.

JN Money Services Limited’s partnership with Filipino company G-xchange (which has money transfer brand GCASH REMIT) boosts the JN Money Transfer network to more than 8,000 locations, up from 350 at the start of the year. The bulk of the new locations are in the Philippines.

G-xchange President Paolo Baltao said, “This partnership with JNMS has created a valuable opportunity for both our companies to explore and develop products to meet the evolving needs of the customers, especially in the Cayman Islands, where many Filipinos have expressed a need for remittance services to their home in the Philippines.”

While Filipinos hold about 13 per cent of work permits in Cayman, Jamaicans hold 8,432 work permits, or about 40 per cent.

In 2012, people in Cayman sent 63,740 remittances to the Philippines, for a combined total of $21.2 million, or about 12 per cent of the total from the territory. That’s about $333 per remittance, or $7,900 per Filipino work permit holder.

In 2012, people in Cayman sent 486,768 remittances to Jamaica, for a combined total of $115.5 million, or about 65 per cent of the total from Cayman. That’s about $237 per remittance, or $13,700 per Jamaican work permit holder.

Remittances from Cayman to the Philippines have grown each year since 2008, for a total increase of 26 per cent during that time. Conversely, remittances from Cayman to Jamaica have declined each year since 2008, for a total decrease of 25 per cent during that time. (Overall remittances from Cayman declined each year since 2008, for a total decrease of 22 per cent.)

JNMS General Manager Leesa Kow said her company’s expanded network was brought about through two partnerships enabling the company to extend remittance services to the Philippines, as well as Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Antigua.

JNMS partnered with G-xchange in March to expand to the Philippines, while the Caribbean expansion was facilitated via a partnership with Laparkin Financial Services. JN Money Transfer’s network now includes eight Caribbean countries, including Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

“We are a Jamaican company, a subsidiary of Jamaica National Building Society; and our customer base encompasses our Jamaicans at home, and those in the Diaspora; the vast number of Caribbean people living outside of the region; as well as, people who have migrated to the Atlantic region from other parts of the world, and require remittance services that are quick, reliable and convenient,” Ms Kow said.

The company’s ongoing expansion took off in 2010, when it acquired the assets of Cayman-based remitter Quikcash. Since then, JNMS has added locations to operations in the US, UK and Canada, and solidified its agent partnership in Ghana.

The Philippines has a population of about 97.7 million people. Jamaica’s population is about 2.7 million.