In the upcoming fiscal year, the Government will introduce two new incentive programmes to encourage greater take-up of the Central Bank Digital Currency, JAM-DEX.
They are the Small/Micro Merchant Incentive Programme and the Wallet-holder Individual Loyalty Programme.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, provided details while opening the 2023/24 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 7.
JAM-DEX provides a safe, efficient, and convenient way to pay for goods and services. Currently, the National Commercial Bank offers JAM-DEX through LYNK®, which is its digital wallet.
For the Small Merchant JAM-DEX Incentive Programme, Dr. Clarke explained the first 10,000 merchants onboarded as of April 1, 2023 will receive $25,000 of JAM-DEX upon registration and onboarding.
These are small merchants, who operate in industries such as restaurants, gas stations, and personal-care services.
To qualify as a merchant, the following documents will be required: Business Registration Certificate and Certificate of Incorporation; proof of bank account anywhere, including a Low Know Your Customer account; and Valid Tax Compliance Certificate or evidence of application, if expired.
Merchants who are on-boarded will also receive a ‘JAM-DEX Accepted Here’ sticker for display at their locations.
Meanwhile, for the Wallet Holder – Individuals Loyalty Programme, users of JAM-DEX will receive loyalty points that can be redeemed for select purposes, including receiving cash back.
Dr. Clarke said effective April 1, 2023, consumers with JAM-DEX wallets, existing and new, will receive two per cent on total purchases for goods and services in JAM-DEX, up to a maximum spend of $5,000.
The loyalty funds earned will be applied to the user’s wallet at the end of each month.
Dr. Clarke said the incentives are applicable only for financial year 2023/24 and encouraged individuals and small businesses to sign up for the initiatives.
Furthermore, he said the Low Know Your Customer (KYC) initiative will be extended for a further year.
Through the programme, the first 60,000 customers who sign up for a Low KYC account at any commercial bank after April 1, 2023, will receive a grant from the Government of $2,500 into that account.
A total of 100,000 customers are being targeted under the incentive, which was launched last year. As at end of February 2023, only 36,000 customers under the initiative.
The Bank of Jamaica implemented the phased national roll-out of JAM-DEX in 2022, with the objective of facilitating greater financial inclusion and support Jamaica’s transformation into a digital economy.
As of February 18, 2023, the total number of JAM-DEX customers onboarded by Lynk was 190,000, comprising 185,410 individuals, 90 small merchants, and 4,500 micro merchants.
The total JAM-DEX transaction activity for 2022 was valued at $357 million.