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Digicel joins digital wallet game with MyCash

Telecommunications provider Digicel launched its MyCash mobile wallet, with the technology minister lauding such technology one way of countering the risk of carrying cash amid a series of robberies.

“The benefits of a digital wallet are obvious,” said Technology Minister Daryl Vaz at the launch on Tuesday.

“It improves citizens’ economic security by minimising theft and reducing the need to travel with cards or cash. And we all know what’s happening nowadays with cash so this is absolutely timely.”

Two armoured trucks carrying tens of millions in cash were intercepted and robbed in late February and mid-March. It resulted in the death of a guard and injury of others. Additionally, there have been a series of robberies of cash machines, resulting in banks reassessing the risk involved in operating large ATM networks.

The wallet will avoid physical cash by using an app on the phone to transfer funds from one account to another. A few features are pending local regulatory approval.

Prior to selling its Pacific Islands locations in 2021, Digicel launched its MyCash app in Samoa which allowed customers to send money, receive international remittances, top up their phones with credit and receive twice as much as other methods; and pay bills, according to its marketing in the pacific island.

Digicel Jamaica was arguably late to launch such a digital product with local competitors getting a headstart, including WiPay, Lynk and others. What’s more, the most known digital wallets are based overseas with many Jamaicans already using them locally, including Cashapp and Paypal.

“Jamaica has lagged behind many regions in the uptake of this technology. Therefore, having a brand like Paymaster, a subsidiary of Digicel that’s already widely known and trusted by many. Jamaicans are now more likely to buy into the concept of a cashless society,” said Vaz.

Digicel Jamaica initially launched a prepaid card in conjunction with Sagicor Bank in 2018 but now it has transitioned that to its MyCash app.

The telecoms intends to leverage its over two million mobile phone subscribers to encourage use.

“It is now a fully digital offering and it is convenient,” said Kevin Chin-Shue, general manager at Paymaster Jamaica at the launch.

The company however cannot convert phone credit into cash transfers. Chin-Shue said MyCash will have wide distribution when used in conjunction with Paymaster’s and Digicel’s networks.

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