Jamaica National again accepting CI dollars

Jamaica
National Money Services, along with MoneyGram and QuikCash, can once
again accept Cayman Islands dollars for remittances, almost four months
after the companies had to restrict cash transfers to only U.S.
currency. 

The
Cayman Islands remittance industry appears to be getting back to normal
after months of upheaval. Western Union reopened three weeks ago, and
now, with Jamaica National’s new deal, all the major cash transfer
companies on the island are back to accepting local currency. 

JN
board member Robert Hamaty said Friday was “a busy day for all our
agents.” JN has nine outlets open in the Cayman Islands and also
operates the MoneyGram and QuikCash brands. 

Mr.
Hamaty said, “We always stayed open for them,” through the crisis over
the past four months that caused a shortage of U.S. cash in Cayman as
people were forced to convert local currency before sending money to
family overseas. 

Financial
Services Minister Wayne Panton told the Cayman Compass that as of
Sunday nothing had been finalized, but a deal was close between the
Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and JN’s parent company Jamaica
National Building Society. “They’re obviously fairly bullish and
optimistic” that the deal will go through, Mr. Panton said. 

“I suspect that there will be some resolution fairly quickly,” he said.  

The minister added, “This is good for consumers. There will be more choices open to the consumer.” 

In
a press release, JN Managing Director Leesa Kow said, “This is very
good news, given the demand for money transfer services, particularly at
this time of the year. 

“I
am buoyed by the development; and, welcome the convenience it will
provide for residents in the Cayman Islands who continue to face
difficulties when sending money to family and friends overseas.” 

Last
year workers in the Cayman Islands sent almost $180 million overseas
through cash transfers. About $110 million of those remittances went to
Jamaica. 

The
cash transfer industry in Cayman has been in a state of flux since
July, leading to a shortage of U.S. cash on the island and causing worry
among the many expat workers who rely on sending remittances to support
their families. 

JN
lost its account with Cayman National Bank in August, with regulators
citing higher risks for the cash transfers and increasing costs to
comply with international rules. The company stayed open, but only
accepted U.S. cash, which was then flown to Jamaica to be deposited in
an account there.

Jamaica National Money Services, along with MoneyGram and QuikCash, can once again take Cayman Islands dollars for remittances, almost four months after the companies had to restrict cash transfers to only U.S. currency.

The Cayman Islands remittance industry appears to be getting back to normal after months of upheaval. Western Union re-opened three weeks ago and now, with Jamaica National’s new deal, all major cash transfer companies on the island are again accepting local currency.

In a press release, JN managing director Leesa Kow said, “This is very good news, given the demand for money transfer services, particularly at this time of the year.”

She continued, “I am buoyed by the development; and, welcome the convenience it will provide for residents in The Cayman Islands who continue to face difficulties when sending money to family and friends overseas.”

Last year workers in the Cayman Islands sent almost $180 million overseas through cash transfers. More than $110 million went to Jamaica.

The cash transfer industry in Cayman had been in a state of confusion since July, leading to a shortage of U.S. cash on the island and causing worry among the many expat workers who send remittances to support their families abroad.

Western Union closed suddenly over the summer, but reopened in late November with a new company backing the transfers.

JN lost its account with Cayman National Bank in August, with regulators citing higher risks for the cash transfers and increasing costs to comply with international rules. The company stayed open, but only accepted U.S. cash that was then flown to Jamaica to be deposited in an account there.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I am told however that the outward money transfer agencies are charging .86(Forex rate) to convert KYD/USD!…at 2014 remittance levels of $180million, that .02cents equates to a COOL $3.6MILLION in ADDITIONAL foreign exchange gain for the remitting agency.

    And, if one takes Jamaica remittances alone of $110million, that equates to a "kool" $2.2million or JAM$299,200,000 in Jamaican dollars being EARNED (EXTRA!) to their normal service charges.

    Two things to mention here:-
    [1] That is $2.2MILLION IN NEW/ ADDED COST OF LIVING INCREASE IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS;
    [2] That $2.2MILLION is being EXTRACTED (SENT OFF!)the Island thus WEAKENING our local economy, (of course it is also increasing the Jamaican economy [M1] by a whopping JAM$299.2MILLION each year!

    My view is that certain types of businesses, like cash money transfer remittance agencies should be 100% Caymanian owned and operated!

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  2. I noticed the rate was actually .8668 at Western Union. Add a little more than one cool million to George”s number.

    It cost someone who i know almost $60 CI to send a little more than $57 US.

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