Alaric, a fraud prevention and payments company, has partnered with financial services provider Transcel to deliver mobile financial services to the unbanked in Jamaica.

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) project, dubbed M3 (mobile Money for Microfinance), will leverage approved microfinance institutions (MFIs) to allow consumers to carry out low-cost person-to-person mobile money transfers and payments.

Transcel will provide the MFIs with facilities to mobile-enable, streamline and integrate lending, borrowing and repayment processes, with Jamaica’s National Commercial Bank providing debit cards linked to M3 accounts – allowing customers to access their money through an ATM or merchant with a POS device.

Milverton Reynolds, managing director of the DBJ, said: "We are committed to bringing more citizens into the formal financial system."

He added: "This will pave the way for all parties to confidently embrace the convenience and cost-effectiveness of mobile financial services – with all the spin-off benefits to business, consumers and the economy as a whole."

Mike Alford, chief executive at Alaric, said the initiative incorporates learnings from other mobile money projects.

He added: "Mobile phones have reached such a high level of penetration in Jamaica (115%) that they provide the perfect vehicle to gain access to financial services."

Jamaica’s large unbanked population has limited access to traditional financial service providers.

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