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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
The way we shop, ship and spend has changed forever. These ways to send and receive money are made to be more convenient than ever, especially after going through two years of not being able to see each other or even going outside as much as we wanted to.
MasterCard and VISA branded cards are our main way of conducting purchases both on and offline in Jamaica.
For those hoping to send remittances, there are companies dedicated to that as well. But what about digital money transfer apps, can you use Cash App in Jamaica?
The short answer is no. Cash App was a US-only app until very recently when it expanded to the United Kingdom. The app is not available in any other country at this time. Jamaica included.
The Cash App Card, however, will work in the MultiLink ATMs and is accepted by some merchants based on my experiences so far.
This is a difficult one to answer. Most younger Jamaicans do have a PayPal Account which allows for transactions between PayPal accounts. The issue arises when it is time to withdraw your money from your PayPal account.
PayPal will not allow transfers to your bank account in Jamaica. However, if you have a social security number in the US and it is added to your PayPal account, then you’ll be able to transfer your funds to your bank account.
For persons who have online businesses or work freelance as a creative, Payoneer was designed specifically with you in mind. Your Payoneer account allows you to receive money from multiple countries and transfer it to your account right here in Jamaica. It is fairly easy to use and has a more favourable exchange rate than most other apps.
You will receive an American bank account which will allow persons to send money to you either within Payoneer or directly from their bank account.
From your Payoneer account, you can transfer directly to your Jamaican bank account and this usually takes between 12-24 business hours to be available to you.
It also facilitates transfers from other apps including WISE and PayPal. The Payoneer card though is not yet available in Jamaica.
To use Venmo, you must be physically located in the United States, which automatically disqualifies all other countries from using Venmo.
Yes Wise, formally Transfer Wise is available in Jamaica and 87 other countries. It allows you to send and receive money in various currencies around the world, most of which include a bank account number, bank code, SWIFT code etc.
You can make transfers within the WISE app to other account holders, other digital money transfer apps and directly to your local bank account.
Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are not readily available forms of payment on the island for various reasons, one being the unreliable internet services here. But, in tourist-heavy places like Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negril and Kingston, you might be able to find some businesses that can accept these forms of payment.
Usually, these businesses can perform contactless payments. But don’t leave home if this is your only means of making purchases.
No, Zelle is specifically for use in America only and the policies of the company do not yet support use in Jamaica.
Each app will have its own procedures and policies. However, general information such as your name, address, date of birth and occupation is needed.
For Identification, you will be asked to fill in the form of ID (passport, driver’s licence, national ID) and the ID number that coincides with it. More often than not, you are also asked to upload pictures of your ID as well as a picture or video selfie.
You will be required to verify the bank account attached to the app in some cases. This will either be a small revertable fee that is charged to your account then you must use that to verify the account or, for apps like WISE, there is a minimum amount that must be added to your account from the bank account you plan to use.
In most cases, it is not a sign-up fee and the charges are either reverted or kept in the app account for future use.
The recently launched Lynk account powered by NCB is available islandwide for transfers between “lynkies” and to make local payments and participating merchants. The newly minted “Jam-Dex”, Jamaica’s digital currency is also available on the app.
For the most part, not many of these digital money transfer apps work in Jamaica yet. But some major resorts, excursions restaurants and other businesses in the tourist areas might accept some of them. Having a VISA or Mastercard is the safest option though.
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