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National Commercial Bank in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew, Jamaica (Photo: SSL Invest)

NCB targets Jamaica’s unbanked with Quick Save account

National Commercial Bank in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew, Jamaica (Photo: SSL Invest)

National Commercial Bank (NCB) says it has introduced a new programme that will make it easier for unbanked and underbanked individuals to open accounts.

In a statement today, NCB said with its new Quick Save account, individuals will only be required to present a Government of Jamaica-issued ID, a Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN), and JM$100 to become a bank account holder.

“Opening a bank account has never been easier,” NCB Senior General Manager of Corporate, Commercial and Consumer Banking Brian Boothe said.

National Commercial Bank of Jamaica Senior General Manager of Corporate, Commercial and Consumer Banking Brian Boothe
(File photo)

“Every Jamaican deserves a fair opportunity to join the formal banking system.”

Hassle-free

NCB’s announcement follows recent efforts by the Jamaica Bankers Association to make bank accounts easier to access, after the Government of Jamaica amended the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

“We know and support the position that the regulatory requirements for account opening are intended to ensure proper and legitimate use of funds, but we also acknowledge that it has been difficult for certain Jamaicans and some vulnerable groups to get a foot in the door, simply because, previously, they could not meet these minimum requirements,” Boothe noted.

A Jamaican $100 note. Jamaica’s unbanked and underbanked can now open a savings account — National Commercial Bank’s Quick Save — with as little as JM$100, a Government-issued ID and a tax registration number. (Photo: Leftover Currency)

The general manager, therefore, that the Quick Save Account will allow people who can declare a specific source of consistent income, such as retirees who receive pensions and beneficiaries of Government subsistence payments like NIS pension and PATH cheques, to receive their payments electronically.  They will also have 24/7 access to funds through ABMs, point of sale (POS) machines, online banking, and NCB’s mobile app.

“Particularly now when Jamaicans are being encouraged to practise social distancing, we’re very happy to have an account with easier opening requirements to help those persons who would normally visit a branch to encash salary or pension cheques and government vouchers,” Boothe said.

“Now, accessing their money is simply a matter of going to the nearest ABM, making transfers using our online banking platform or making payments via our mobile app,” he added.

Benefits for senior citizens

“Every Jamaican deserves a fair opportunity to join the formal banking system.”

— National Commercial Bank of Jamaica Senior General Manager of Corporate, Commercial and Consumer Banking Brian Boothe

Holders of NCB Quick Save accounts do not have to maintain a minimum balance; however, the account balance should not exceed $250,000.

While there are other conditions that apply to opening and maintainenance of the account, he also advised that there were additional benefits for customers aged 65 years and over, such as the waiving of certain fees.

“We know that some of our senior citizens are long accustomed to coming in-branch to access their NIS pension, for example,” he said.

“And we know, it will take time for some of them to make the transition to our safe and more convenient alternatives, like our 24/7 Bank on the Go ABMs and online banking. So, while we work on teaching them how to use these self-service channels, we will not charge the usual in-branch cash withdrawal fee,” he emphasised

“So we are encouraging those who wouldn’t normally have access, to open their NCB Quick Save account so they can receive payments and access funds safely and conveniently whenever they need to.”