My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Alliance Financial Services Limited's ePay will beat Scotiabank and NCB's in Mobile Money Revolution

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Alliance Financial Services Limited's ePay will beat Scotiabank and NCB's in Mobile Money Revolution

Mobile Money is on the Move yet again, gentle people!

I’ve been quietly awaiting the coming of Mobile Money from Digicel in the form of a partnership with Scotia Bank and a revamped version of Tcho Tcho Mobile as described in my blog article entitledDigicel to roll out Mobile Money Service in 2014 - Haiti Tcho Tcho Mobile Love is Bringing the Boom with ScotiaBank heralds Cashless Society by 2015”.

That hasn’t happened yet.

But other smaller players are slowly building up critical mass in a bid to become the dominant player in the lucrative Mobile Money Game. Once such company is AFSL (Alliance Financial Services Limited) and their Mobile Money platform and Product, the ePay Prepaid Card, which recently got the nod from the BOJ (Bank of Jamaica) as stated in the article “ePay gets nod for Mobile Money transfers”, published Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by TERRON DEWAR Business reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

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And based on their build up over the past four (4) years since launching in 2010, they look set to be the Next Big Thing. ePay Prepaid Card is the ultimate harbinger of Jamaica’s push towards a Cashless Society after having gotten the ok from the BOJ (Bank of Jamaica) to enter the Mobile Money Market.

AFSL’s ePay Prepaid Card – Smartphone Cashless Society grows from Blackberry’s to Smartphones

ePay, which is a brand of AFSL (Alliance Financial Services Limited), has some 6,500 active users that they’ve amassed over their four (4) years of operation in Jamaica.

This as their meteoric rise is being fuelled by the explosion of smartphones since December 2013 as stated in my blog article entitledJamaicans falls in love with Digicel's DL600 and DL700 during Christmas 2013 - Sub-US$100 smartphones driving rapid smartphone adoption in Jamaica as Manufacturing is Possible”.

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They previous lure on Blackberry during the heyday of competition between Digicel and CLARO that saw a blossoming of Blackberry Plans which began to wane by May 2012 as stated in my blog article entitledBlackberry popularity wanes as Jamaicans go smartphones - Android and Apple's Smartphone Revolution”.

They eventually went bankrupt in 2013 and were sold to Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited in November 2013 as reported in my Geezam blog article entitled “Blackberry sold to Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited as BBM goes free”.

This trend started by the DL600 and carried forward by the DL700 continue in a follow-on, West Indies Cricket Style during the Summer of 2014 as explained in my blog article entitledDigicel poised to sell 20,000 Mobile Devices in June 2014 - GOJ's CET removal means JA$4000 to JA$6000 smartphones are Possible”.

AFSL’s ePay Prepaid Card successfully negotiated the transition from Blackberry to smartphone, making a smartphone App for Android and Apple devices and holding on to their loyal client base of 6500 customers!

AFSL’s ePay Prepaid Card – ScotiaVisa Debt Prepaid Competition that sports cheaper Charges and Rates

Their Prepaid Card, which the rough equivalent of a ScotiaVisa Prepaid Debit Card, allows you do financial Transactions via your Mobile phone using an application that you have to download as explained by ePay Limited Director Lennox Robinson, quote: “Cardholders will just have to download the Mobile application, select the transfer funds option, and insert the recipient's card number and the amount of fund to be transferred”.

Explains the small number of customers; they're primarily focused on the slowly growing smartphone crowd that's making Money. Their Prepaid Card allows you to transfer funds to other ePay Cardholders for Free and do financial transactions with a charge as low as JA$30.

The ePay Prepaid Card is available at some 45 MoneyGram locations which also doubles as a top-up spot for those toting what may be a slow and steady build towards Mobile Money, albeit exclusive to the Smartphone Crowd. Not sure if their business model was sustainable with just 6,500 active users, but they’ve survived for the past four years doing this.

Plus, they're aiming to boost their customer base by expanding to an additional 150 outlets in the next three (3) Months and pitch their ePay Card to employers as a low-Transaction Rate option to Commercial Bank based Debit Card Bank Payments for salaries.

They’re hoping to snag some 300,000 new customers over the next 12 to 18 months by marketing their ePay Product directly to the 550,000 PAYE (Pay as You Earn) Monthly Salaried workers in both the Private and Public Sector in Jamaica.

Aside from their super low transaction rate, their customers are also able to purchase the following items:

1.      Utility Bill Payments
2.      Automotive fuel
3.      Fast Food restaurants
4.      High Schools Fee Payments

Yep, definitely the smartphone crowd, the only persons I know who'd invest in a Prepaid Card JUST because it has the perk of Free inter-ePay Account Transfers and JA$30 charge per transaction. Now with the convenience of a Google Android Smartphone App, they’re set to truly herald in the Cashless Society.

AFSL’s ePay Prepaid Card – Barbarian at the Gates as Mobile Money will spark Cashless Society

Ever since JCCUL (Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League) had also partnered with Mozido Jamaica Limited to launch their Mobile Money Platform JCUES (Jamaica Credit Union e-Payment Services) in 2012 to conquer the US$2 billion Remittance Market as stated in my blog article entitled “JCCUL JCUES is put on hold by the BOJ - ePayment setback means Mozido has been Bewitched”, momentum has been building for a full Mobile Money Launch.

Now that Mobile Money is legit since July 2013 with JCCUL’s JCUES being approved first after the BOJ (Bank of Jamaica) had implemented Regulations as noted in my blog article entitledJCCUL get's approval from BOJ to launch their JCUES Mobile Money Platform - JCUES Mobile Money Wolverine (2013) marks the Kick-Ass 2 (2013) beginning of a Cashless Society”, the Mobile Money Market has fairly blossomed.

GraceKennedy, Franchisee of Western Union, handles 50% of all Remittances as stated in the article “GraceKennedy responsible for half of Jamaica's Remittances, says Wehby,” published Sunday November 25, 2012, The Jamaica Gleaner , is also interested in Mobile Money. They too are joining the Mobile Money Race 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

SVL (Supreme Ventures Limited), sellers of the popular Super Lotto and Cashpot Games, is also interested in Mobile Money as an additional Service to be offered at it many outlets islandwide, especially as relates to Mobile Gaming as explained in my blog article entitledBGLC to introduce i-Gaming via smartphones - i-Gaming heralds Supreme Ventures Mobile Money Cashless Society dipping directly in Church Tithes”.

So AFSL’s ePay Prepaid Card entering the Mobile Money Industry that allows them to send Money via inter-ePay Transfers was inevitable. Expansion beyond this crowd will not only require getting new customers, but expanding the list of Merchants that accept the ePay Prepaid Card.

Any new payment option using their EXISTING POS (Point of Sale) Terminals must be secure, as buying a new Terminal will turn off corner shops and Businesses from jumping unto this fast-moving Mobile Money Cashless Society Bandwagon.

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