The use of electronic payments has increased by 24 per cent in Jamaica over the past five years according to the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ).
On the other hand, the average growth in currency is about 14 per cent, said the BOJ.
The nation’s Central Bank said the annual average growth in the use of point of sale debit and credit card transactions and other internet-based credit card transactions has steadily increased by bank account holders.
It noted however, that cash exchanges remain the dominant means of settling transactions on the island but said the use of electronic payments will “likely continue with the efforts to broaden the participation of more unbanked Jamaicans in the financial system.”
In its release, the BOJ also said that there is a 15 per cent increase in the stock of notes and coins in circulation, with the expected increased demand during the festive season, however, those expectations fell short by 17.2 per cent. “Most of this deviation was reflected in higher than expected redemptions during the last 5 working days of the month when financial institutions returned more banknotes to the central bank than projected.”
The bulletin was issued to the public as part of its standard practice to update the public on the value of currency in circulation in December. The practice started “when the degree of expansion of currency in circulation could be relied upon as an indicator of the extent of retail commercial activity during the Christmas season.”
Information on transactions are reported by the respective settlement platforms on a monthly basis, the BOJ said, which makes the daily data less accessible than that of its currency operations.