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Oneil Grant (centre), president, Jamaica Civil Service Association, proudly displays the new prepaid Mastercard to be distributed to 26,000 civil servants by mid-December, to the delight of Peter Chin (left), CEO, Alliance Financial Services Limited and Kavin Hewitt, CEO, ePayment Group. (Photo: Rudolph Brown)

26,000 J’can civil servants to receive ePay prepaid Mastercards next month

Oneil Grant (centre), president, Jamaica Civil Service Association, proudly displays the new prepaid Mastercard to be distributed to 26,000 civil servants by mid-December, to the delight of Peter Chin (left), CEO, Alliance Financial Services Limited and Kavin Hewitt, CEO, ePayment Group. (Photo: Rudolph Brown)

The Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) has partnered with Alliance Financial Services Limited (Alliance) to issue prepaid ePAY Mastercards to 26,000 of its members by the middle of next month.

In its bid to accomplish this goal, the JCSA has obtained he permission of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to utilise the human resource departments of several ministries, government departments and agencies to facilitate the distribution process.

Already, some 250 merchants have partnered with the JCSA to give discounts to the Mastercard holders, whose consumption per month is estimated to be JM$2.5 billion, a release from the association shared.

In making the announcement, O’Neil Grant, president of the JCSA, said the introduction of the prepaid Mastercard is timely, as Jamaica seeks to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and discourage person-to-person contact.

From left: Peter Chin, CEO, Alliance Financial Services Limited; Oneil Grant, president, Jamaica Civil Service Association; and Kavin Hewitt, CEO, ePayment Group, participate in a symbolic signing of a contract to make free prepaid Mastercards available to 26,000 civil servants by mid-December. (Photo: Rudolph Brown)

“A number of other things have driven us to introduce this benefit to our members at this time, including the need to assist public sector workers to control their spending, especially salaries that can be automatically added to the card each month to avoid having to encash his/her pay cheque at a bank,” he stated.

Loyalty rewards for public sector employees

The Mastercard will also carry the branding of the JCSA and ePAY. ePayment Group Limited will provide the technology that supports the JCSA ePAY Mastercard.

According to Grant, the prepaid card boasts a blend of the unique features of a debit card and the facility for loan disbursements to be loaded to the card. Additional benefits will include significant savings resulting from loyalty programs where members receive discounts and cash back rewards whenever they purchase at participating merchants.

So far, members of the JCSA have expressed excitement at receiving the card, which the association has been planning for almost a year, Grant said.

“We are very confident that we will be able to meet and surpass the experience our members are expecting from the card, especially as we are now working to integrate the JCSA Mastercard with the services of the association’s savings and loans organisation, the Jamaica Civil Service Mutual Thrift Society,” the JCSA president added.

To date, Grant said, the introduction of the prepaid Mastercard has been the most innovative programme to benefit JCSA members, which can be acquired by the most junior employee in the public sector to the most senior ones, at no cost to them.

“In addition, we are looking at expanding the reach of the JCSA Minimart from which our members can buy grocery items at significantly reduced prices, as we are a not-for-profit organisation.  We plan to open more minimarts outside of Kingston in the New Year, which will provide more economic benefits to our members,” Grant disclosed.

Solutions and services

For his part, CEO of e-Payment Group Kavin Hewitt said his company “was excited about providing the technology that supports the JCSA ePAY Mastercard.

“We not only provide the technology but will use our technical capabilities to design unique solutions and services to add significant savings and benefits for JCSA members,” he noted.

Speaking on behalf of Alliance Financial Services, Peter Chin, CEO said the growth strategy of his company is to enter into co-branding relationships with entities that have large numbers of customers or members.

“These entities usually want to cement their brands in the minds of their customers/members by offering a card with benefits and features unique to the issuing organisation to build loyalty.  So Alliance, through its ePay Mastercard products and services, has been able to offer this service to the JCSA,” he noted.

Alliance Financial Services has been an approved partner of Mastercard since 2017 and is currently the leading issuer of Mastercard prepaid cards in Jamaica.