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Transactions Made Easier With Digital Payment Wallet

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#Kingston, April 15, 2022 – Access to, and use of financial services will be made easier with the use of the digital payment wallet, Lynk.

Digital payment wallets are the platforms used to facilitate transactions of the Bank of Jamaica’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

The CBDC is a digital form of central bank-issued currency and is legal tender that can be exchanged dollar for dollar with physical cash. Jamaica’s CBDC is called Jam-Dex, which stands for Jamaica Digital Exchange.

Lynk is currently the only approved wallet provider of the BOJ’s CBDC and is available through the National Commercial Bank (NCB).

Chief Executive Officer of TFOB (2021) Limited, a subsidiary of NCB Financial Group Limited, Vernon James, said Lynk is just like using regular cash, except it is in a digital form.

“Lynk will be everywhere, it’s easy to use, you’ll be able to use it in all the ways you use money now, except you don’t need to go to get it. You don’t have to go and get cash; you can just use it. It’s contactless, phone mostly…” Mr. James said.

He noted that the company has done its due diligence to ensure that the platform is safe.

“Lynk is as safe as any other electronic platform, but in particular, the very best. What you would expect from an NCB platform in terms of safety and security, you will get that with Lynk. We built the platform to be simple, easy to use. I’m going to go a little further, it’s going to be a joy for you to use; we want you to enjoy the process of doing your transfers and making your payments,” Mr. James added.

He pointed out that Lynk is built on three platforms, safety and security, ease of use and a simple onboarding process. Onboarding refers to the process of familiarising a new customer or client with the products or services of an organisation.

“Lynk is easy to onboard. It’s a digital onboarding process, you don’t need a bank account; it takes five minutes to onboard and create an account with Lynk. We use QR codes primarily, so you’ll be able to make your transfers instantly using your QR code. It’s as easy as sending a text message. No need for cash, no need to join lines, just transfer electronically and that is the future of business,” Mr. James said.

To use Lynk, persons will need to download the Lynk app to their smart phone. The next step is to verify your identity with a Government-issued identification card. This is then followed by the last two steps, which is to connect your bank and deposit your money into your Lynk account. Then you can send and receive money with Lynk.

During the recent Budget Debate, Finance Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, demonstrated in Parliament how he could pay his barber using Jam-Dex on the Lynk platform.

Mr. James noted that Lynk will partner with merchants across Jamaica so that persons can pay for services.

“Regardless of which merchants, you should be able to go and use your CBDC. Now that’s a big benefit. Because instead of using cash, you can transfer your CBDC payments to these merchants seamlessly,” he added.

Mr. James said that another added benefit of Lynk, is that persons will be able to move from Jam-Dex to cash.

“Although we want to move away from cash, you’ll be able to go from CBDC to cash easily at any of our ATMs, and from cash to CBDC easily. But if you do need cash, you can easily cash in and out at any one of our ATMs,” Mr. James told JIS News.

A key milestone to be accomplished by Bank of Jamaica and the Government during the first quarter of the financial year is to bring legislation to Parliament to facilitate Bank of Jamaica being the sole issuer of Jam-Dex and for it to be recognised as legal tender.

The BOJ expects to add four more wallet providers by June.

CONTACT:  Lisa Rowe

Release: JIS

Caribbean News

Barbados to Host 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace this Spring

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

 

#Barbados, February 2, 2023 – Barbados has been selected to host the 41st edition of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The event will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown from May 9 -11, and it is expected to build on the success of the 40th staging held in Puerto Rico last fall.

CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, who made the announcement recently, said it’s the first time in the organization’s history that the association’s largest annual event, which brings together buyers and sellers of the region’s tourism products and services, will be staged in Barbados.

“CHTA has a very strong relationship with both public and private sector stakeholders in Barbados, and as we position the region’s top earner for robust growth this year, we are delighted to lock arms with our Bajan partners to drive business to the Caribbean,” she stated.

Noting that: “This year’s Marketplace will also provide unique access to the Eastern Caribbean for buyers and tour operators as the region places a strong focus on the revival of multi-destination travel.”

Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados Ian Gooding-Edghill, said the Barbados tourism industry was undergoing a major renaissance in the post-COVID environment, and the timing could not be better to welcome Caribbean Travel Marketplace to local soil.

“We are honoured to host such a preeminent gathering of tourism stakeholders from around the world,”  Minister Gooding-Edghill said, noting that the meeting aligns with Barbados’ value offerings, which appeal, among others, to the very important MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions] market.

The launch of the first Caribbean Travel Forum & Awards, a highlight of the Puerto Rico meeting, will return for a second edition and will be held in Barbados on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, ahead of the official opening ceremony of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

The Forum will also focus on the business of tourism, and business appointments will be conducted on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.

Over 150 delegates, including Ministers of Tourism and key private sector leaders, engaged in the Caribbean Travel Forum last year.

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Bahamas News

National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

 

#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.

“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.

Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.

Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”

The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.

Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.

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Caribbean News

Guyana secures cryotherapy machines to help fight cervical cancer

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

 

#Guyana, February 2, 2023 – Guyana will see a significant boost to its healthcare system soon as the health ministry has acquired 20 cryotherapy machines to help treat and prevent cervical cancer, the second most prevalent cancer among women in the country.

Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, involves cooling the body’s tissues for therapeutic purposes and removing the abnormal tissue. This type of therapy is also used to treat many skin conditions and some cancers, including prostate, cervical and liver cancer.

The Health Ministry said the machines will help clear the backlog of patients needing such treatment.

Director of the Non-Communicable Diseases Programme of the Health Ministry, Dr. Latchmie Lall, said the equipment will be very instrumental in providing immediate service to patients.

“We are indeed very thankful for this donation of cryotherapy machines that were brought through the IDB project; a total of 20 machines that are going to be used to improve our screening services for cervical cancer; this will come as a great measure for not only screening but to provide immediate medical treatment in that if we do find a pathological cervix, cryotherapy can be applied immediately, and we have one healthy patient going back home to her family,” Dr. Lall said.

Director of Primary Healthcare Services, Dr. Ertensia Hamilton, said the equipment comes at an opportune time when the ministry is extending its services for women of reproductive age across the country.

“We recognise that Guyana still has a high incidence of cervical cancer in our women, and so we want to be able to have services available to them as we work towards ensuring that each individual across their life course has services to meet their medical needs,” she said.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, during his comment, revealed that Guyana is trying to develop a comprehensive programme for cervical cancer.

“One of the things that we are trying to do is to have a comprehensive cervical cancer programme. The first level will be to prevent cervical cancer. We want to do that by encouraging people to get the HPV vaccination. We have these vaccines available. We have been rolling them out to ensure that every person eligible for these vaccines gets them.”

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