My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: JCCUL get's approval from BOJ to launch their JCUES Mobile Money Platform - JCUES Mobile Money Wolverine marks the Kick-Ass 2 beginning of a Cashless Society

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

JCCUL get's approval from BOJ to launch their JCUES Mobile Money Platform - JCUES Mobile Money Wolverine marks the Kick-Ass 2 beginning of a Cashless Society

Looks like the BOJ (Bank of Jamaica) like my sob story about JCUES (Jamaica Credit Union e-Payment Services). Why do I say this? Well, the BOJ has now decided on Tuesday July 16th 2013 to approve the JCCUL (Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League) and Mozido Jamaica License for their Mobile Money Platform, making them the first to be so Licensed as stated in the articleJCUES Gets Green Light - First PrivateMobile-Money Licence Granted By Central Bank”, published Friday July 26, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Now JCCUL will become the first Credit Union or Bank to introduce Mobile Money in Jamaica and Mozido Jamaica can get Jamaica as their Guinea Pig to launch into Latin America.

So it’s set. SVL (Supreme Ventures Limited) is interested albeit they haven’t applied to be a Retail Payment Service Providers for any Mobile Money startup as stated in “SVL Boss Sees Growth Prospects In E-Wallets”, Published Friday July 26, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner .

They may soon join GraceKennedy who are definitely interested as noted in GK goes after Mobile Money”, published Wednesday, May 22, 2013 BY SHAMILLE SCOTT Business reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

SVL could use it to supercharge smartphone Gaming and Gambling as described in my blog article entitled Supreme Ventures Limited and the JA$232.2 million Super Lotto Winner - Pointer Sister's Automatic”.

And already some new younger entrepreneurs in the guise of co-founders Jason Scott, Kevin Leyow, and Jonathan Cooper have started Blaze Payment to do pretty much the same thing as reported in “Blaze trio aims to revolutionise the way you pay”, published Sunday, July 28, 2013 BY SHAMILLE SCOTT Business reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

It’s more like a cross between CreditU and StreetFlex being used to pay for goods than a real Mobile Money Platform with dedicated hardware, Retail Payment Service Providers and Agents. Still it’ll be great for paying for Tickets at parties, another area of business this fledgling startup can target aside from just Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records.

But back to JCCUL’s JCUES!

The License makes JCUES the first Mobile Money Provider under BOJ’s new Electronic Retail Payment Services Guidelines. This is approximately one (1) year and four (4) months after JCCUL originally attempted to launch JCUES as faithfully recorded and explained in my blog article entitledJCCUL JCUES is put on hold by the BOJ - ePayment setback means Mozido has been Bewitchedand it has been quite an adventure for them. Now they have been approved, they can definitely say they are the first to offer Mobile Money Service in Jamaica.

As mentioned in that original article, they’ll be providing a Service that basically allows you to receive Remittances and then spend it using your feature phone or smartphone as well as send small amounts via SMS to someone else. Very similar to the same Mobile Money Services in Africa, Mozido Jamaica's technology is very similar.

Based on the new Guidelines set by the BOJ which had officially taken effect on Monday April 1st 2013 as explained in my blog article entitled BOJ to regulate and approve Mobile Money Industry in Jamaica - JCCUL JCUES is the Man of Steel as GraceKennedy joins The Last Stand for a Cashless Society” and “BOJ stalling on Mobile Money Regulations as new entrants appear - Herald for the Cashless Society as Smartphones and Mobile Money are The Perfect Storm and Curse of Chucky” you’ll receive your remittances via the Credit Union and or in your Credit Union Account linked to a JCUES Account.

You can then opt to withdraw the Money via your Credit union Account or JCUES Account at a Retail Payment Service Providers  or spend it via using Mobile Money by having one of the following:

1.      A JCUES NFC (Near Field Communication) Sticker placed on your feature phone
2.      NFC enabled Smartphone with a JCUES App you download and install to enable the Service
3.      Feature phone or smartphone with Bluetooth, no App Required
4.      Camera phone with QR Code Reader similar to as described in my blog article entitled “QR Codes and Shopping in South Korea - My Science Project for A Virtual Supermarket” to receive Money

NOTE: In the following examples though, for simplicity’s sake, I’ll use the example of a smartphone with NFC reader and JCUES App or Feature phone with JCUES NFC Sticker.

At this point it becomes self Explanatory: wherever there is an NFC reader or another smartphone with a JCUES Account and NFC Reader capability, you can spend Money with them. You can also withdraw Cash from a Retail Payment Service Providers by simply using your phone to verify your Account number and the Agent will pay you the Money you requested.

Very similar to withdrawing Money from ScotiaBank or JNBS (Jamaica National Building Society), both of whom have eliminated the need to carry a Bank Book to the Bank to withdraw Cash as explained in my blog article entitled “JNBS Introduces Swipe and Go, eliminating Bank Books - Secret of Wings for a Cashless Society in Jamaica”.

Deposits via a Retail Payment Service Providers work the same way too using your feature phone or Smartphone. But it’s sending Money across the island where the convenience comes in. I’m sure many a time, your confronted with a situation where you are asked to send someone Money and that person is on the other side of Jamaica, has no Bank Account and worse it’s on a Saturday or Sunday. This can be a case where you as a parent in the country decide to send your child Money at University in Kingston or you met a girl on Facebook and you are trying to send her Money so she can visit you.

Several creative options exist:

1.      Use Mobile or Internet Banking on your Blackberry or Smartphone to transfer them Money to someone you know who has a Bank Account
2.      Going to an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) and depositing the Money via placing it in an Envelope
3.      Sending a Money order via your Remittance Service, which means the person has to go to a Remittance Service Provider who may/may not be open

So add Mobile Money Service to that list. Here’s how it would work:

1.      You’d send a SMS (Short Messaging Service) text composed using special USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service) codes that may be similar to those used in Digicel CreditU to a pre-assigned Gateway number for JCUES e.g. 4447777
2.      The sender then receives a confirmation text from the JCUES Gateway Number with a special unique transaction code and confirmation that the Money has been sent
3.      The recipient then receives an SMS with a confirmation text from the JCUES Gateway Number with a special unique transaction code and confirmation that they have received Money from the sender
4.      The recipient then takes the feature phone with the code or write off the code and carry your GOJ ID to a JCUES Retail Payment Service Providers and you’re given the Cash
5.      If you have your feature phone and it has a JCUES NFC sticker or a smartphone with the JCUES NFC App and is NFC capable, you can use it to withdraw the Money by swiping it at the Retail Payment Service Providers NFC Reader and get Cash
6.      If JCUES is enabled on an ATM via Multilink and you have your feature phone and it has a NFC sticker or a smartphone with the NFC App and is NFC capable, you can use it to withdraw the Money by swiping it at the ATM’s NFC Reader and get Cash

The Mobile Money System work thanks to the ubiquity of cell phones and takes advantage of certain features they may have, that being Bluetooth, Camera, NFC Reader or simply SMS. It then compares the information captured to the Database on the Servers hosting JCUES Platform being run by Mozido Jamaica.

It updates this information in a Bank Account created temporarily for the Recipient in the JCUES Database by the JCUES Platform during the transaction. The sender’s Bank Account or Remittance JCUES Account, which are registered to either the BOJ or a local Commercial Bank is accessed and funds debited and the information is updated in the JCUES Database. This takes mere seconds and the robust JCUES Servers are designed to handles thousands of Transactions every minute error free, another Technical Specification Requirement by the BOJ.

The unique code generated to be used by the Sender and recipient to make each Transaction traceable back to the Bank or Credit Union when sending or receiving Money, a key requirement of the BOJ. Thus all transactions originate and terminate in a Bank Account of some sort, making the person, usually an unBanked Remittance recipient, become a part of the Banked.

The convenience of the JCUES Mobile Money System means that you can now send Money to anyone with a feature phone that can receive SMS, MMS or even email as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to send and receive email via SMS from your LIME or Digicel Feature phone”.

The only qualm is the issue of SIM Card hacking as exposed by Dr. Karsten Nohl as explained in my blog article entitled “Dr. Karsten Nohl reveals GSM Phones' SIM Cards can be hacked via a Text Message - Elysium of Jamaica’s nascent Mobile Money Banking and Cashless Society”, which, really, is more of a Telecoms issues than a Banking one.

At this point I’m awaiting the first tranche of ads in traditional Media as well as Social Media  explaining how JCUEs Services works as well as similar from the other debutantes, who are yet to be Licenses. In the end, JCUES Mobile Money Wolverine (2013) marks the Kick-Ass 2 (2013) beginning of a Cashless Society.
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