My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Sagicor Bank's SWYPE challenges QUISK, GK MPay for Mobile Money Dominance

Thursday, July 19, 2018

How Sagicor Bank's SWYPE challenges QUISK, GK MPay for Mobile Money Dominance

“Sagicor Bank is committed to always finding new and innovative ways to improve our clients' lives and with the launch of SWYPE, not only are we having a direct impact on the growth and development of the SME sector, we are also helping to build the economy”

Sagicor Bank CEO Chorvelle Johnson commenting on the launch of the SWYPE

Jamaica will not be the same again as Mobile money now has a more pragmatic competitor.

I’m of course referring to the launch of SWYPE on Monday June 18th 2018 by Sagicor Bank as reported in the article “Sagicor Bank Launches Mobile Point-Of-Sale Machine, SWYPE”, Published Monday June 18, 2018, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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The SWYPE is Sagicor Bank's MPOS (mobile point-of-sale machine) as described in their handy SWYPE User Guide located on their dedicated SYWPE Webpage.

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More importantly, it’s a compact portable card reader that works with Android phones and tablets, allowing the merchant to accept debit and credit card payments.

Here is a nice video that explains it benefits nicely.

This is very similar to the Square point-of-sale machine I'd described back in my blog article entitled “VISA and Jack Dorsey's Square - Leena's TechCrunch of SME's Mad Money

So how does this empower Mobile Money in Jamaica?

Sagicor Banks' SWYPE - How to do Debit and Credit Card Transactions

Jamaica is in need of Electronic Cashless Payment options.

Cashless trade is on the increase, according to stats from the BOJ (Bank of Jamaica) as noted in the article “Sagicor Bank Launches SWYPE For Mobile Payments”, Published Sunday July 15, 2018 by Avia Collinder, The Jamaica Gleaner

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The BOJ reported in their 2017 annual report that:

1.      14 million was the volume of POS (point of sales) transactions processed on POS terminals.
2.      JA$78.6 billion was the value of these transactions

This as not only are Electronic and Cashless Transactions more secure, but they can help to fight corruption and make the collection taxes more efficient as argued in my blog article entitled “How Electronic Transactions in Jamaica can eliminate Hidden Economy via Universal Consumption Taxation”. 

The machine accepts MasterCard, Visa and Multilink cards. It connects via Bluetooth with any Android smartphone or tablet and transactions are handle via the free mcsPAY App available for download in the Google Play Store.

Then you just follow the instructions as laid out in in their handy SWYPE User Guide located on their dedicated SYWPE Webpage. It you prefer, you can watch the video below and learn more.

Clearly this will initially accept Sagicor Bank Debit and Credit Cards, but hopefully, they’ll expand that to any Debit or Credit Card on the Multi-Link system. This is definitely going to be a hit with both customers and business owners as they're benefit from the ease and convenience of completing a sales transaction without cash.

So who exactly will benefit from Sagicor Bank's MPOS?

Sagicor Banks' SWYPE Benefits - MSME's convenience for Customers

Taxi men and Bus conductors might resort to using this device, especially if they have to plan large excursions such as School trips to historical sites as explained in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “Our Story Tours – Jamaican Historical Tours for Schools and Tourist Groups”. 

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With the security and convenience of cashless becoming a global trend, Sagicor Bank had to be a part of the action as Sagicor Bank CEO Chorvelle Johnson points out, quote: “As we become even more modernised and technological advancements improve, Sagicor Bank remains on top of its game with respect to providing products and services of the highest quality for our clients”.

It'll be of greatest benefit to MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) as they can now handle Credit and Debit Card Transactions instead of just Cash transactions as pointed out by Chorvelle Johnson, quote: “For example, a large distribution company with sales agents or a food stall operator could use this device to increase their earning potential by accepting card payments. Individuals can also apply for Sagicor Bank’s SWYPE; however, specific terms and conditions apply”.

Merchants subscribing to use the device will pay a fee per transaction, as well as a monthly rental fee, which is automatically deducted from the merchant's account at the beginning of every month.

Vendors toting SWYPE may not be happening anytime soon, as its still way easier to use QUISK or GK MPay as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Quisk heralds e-commerce Micro-Transactions for Jamaican Entrepreneurs”.

So what are the advantages of SWYPE over Mobile Money?

The advantage of SWYPE – Established Credit and Debit Card usage in Jamaica

SWYPE does have a leg up on QUISK or GK MPay; the customer merely has to use their Credit or Debit Card.

Credit and Debit Card usage, albeit small, is already well established in the banking world and among their many customers who use this convenient form of cash. It also a lot easier to meet the customer half-way, being as it is less cumbersome and potentially more affordable and easier to set up than a QUISK or GK MPay account.

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It however, lacks the security of blockchain, as your Debit and Credit Card can still be stolen, one they have the tech to intercept Bluetooth Transmissions and thereby capture your Debit or Credit Card.

Still, this is mutually beneficial to MSME such as Taximen and potentially Vendors, why may decide the learning curve is worth the risk in order to increase their sales.

Here's the link for more info on Sagicor Bank's SWYPE:

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