The potential economic impact that mobile banking could have on poverty alleviation, rural development and micro financing in Jamaica, will be among the key areas up for discussion at the Mobile Financial Services Conference 2010.
The one-day conference, which will be held at the Terra Nova hotel in Kingston on Friday, December 10, promises to provide a comprehensive exploration of the important issues and considerations associated with the large scale introduction of mobile financial services.
The forum will also bring together an array of international and local speakers, with wide ranging experience in mobile banking and mobile commerce, together with the key stakeholders and practitioners from Jamaica’s financial services and telecommunications sectors, as well as the policy makers and the regulators that have oversight of these sectors.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw
Keynote speaker at the function will be Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw.
The conference is being conducted by Solutions for Society, a think tank in the Tropical Medicine Research Institute (TMRI) and the Mona School of Business, University of the West Indies, in association with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Director, Centre of Excellence, Mona School of Business, Maurice McNaughton, said the need for the conference emerged from a strong conviction that the use of the mobile phone to increase reach and accessibility of financial services to citizens that are currently underserved, could have enormous scope and significant potential impact.
“Our conviction is that if we are to realise the full potential of this business technology, there is a need to fully examine and elucidate the complete range of issues associated with the large scale introduction of mobile financial services, hence the need for this conference,” he further remarked.
Mr. McNaughton said that UWI’s involvement in the forum was critical as, based on its neutral placement; it is able to convene a wide cross section of interests from the banking sector, telecommunications, public and private sectors, as well as the multilateral agencies.
“Aside from this, the university brings a level of intellectual discourse and research capacity that would be quite important in forming the decisions to be made as we move forward,” he noted.
Discussions at the forum will examine issues surrounding platform ownership/business models; regulatory framework; commercial dimensions and the economic impact of mobile services; technological solutions; research agenda and strategies for implementation.
Key stakeholders, including the major Jamaican financial institutions and telecommunications firms, are slated to participate. Other key participants include the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Jamaica, and Development Bank of Jamaica, Planning Institute of Jamaica, Office of Utilities Regulation and the Financial Services Commission.
Presenters include Head of TMRI, Professor Terrence Forrester; President, Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Joseph Matalon; and Chief Executive Officer, Transcel Limited, Hugo Daley.