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Quisk heralds e-commerce Micro-Transactions for Jamaican Entrepreneurs

There is a huge untapped business potential associated with using Mobile Money.

So says Douglas Halsall, Chief Executive Officer of AIS (Advanced Integrated Systems), who was presenting at the Jamaica Computer Society IT Knowledge Forum held at the Jamaica Conference Centre on November 17th 2016.

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He was speaking of the on business opportunities that individuals can embark on with the use of digital cash and mobile payments. He was also encouraged by the significant traction gained in the market by mobile money solution, Quisk as detailed in NCB’s Quisk Mobile Money off to a good start in Jamaica.

So what exactly is Quisk?

Quisk and AIS – A Brief History of Mobile Money in Jamaica 

Quisk was first implemented in 2010, through a partnership with AIS. It has grown in popularity revolutionizing the way people do business in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

In fact, the National Commercial Bank Jamaica Ltd is the first financial institution to use the Quisk platform. Others have joined and are also using the Quisk platform, namely:

  • Victoria Mutual Building Society
  • LASCO Financials
  • First Heritage Credit Union

The process to set up a Quisk account is very simple; no bank account is needed to open a Quisk account, just your phone numbers. The process requires minimal personal information and persons have to sign up at the bank with their TRN and Government issued ID only.

Transactions are essentially done via SMS, present on any cellphone with phone numbers as your Quisk Account number!

You will be given a password and you will need a mobile phone thereafter. The mobile money solution works on any network carrier in the island and transactions with NCB, POS (point of Sale) Terminal, the largest in Jamaica are a snap as pointed out by Douglas Halsall, quote: “Quisk is bank centric not telephone centric, we use all the standards of the bank and ride on the same trails as the banking systems so you can interface with ATMs and monitor transactions. This is why NCB had to be our first partners, they have over 75% of the point of sales terminals in Jamaica, with NCB it opens us up to everywhere there is a NCB terminal, they also have the most ATMs including cash-in services”.

The Quisk platform can also be accessed on devices such as:

  • Smartphones
  • iPhones
  • Tablets
  • Computer

Therein lies the opportunity for Entrepreneurs.

Quisk and Jamaican Entrepreneurs – The Rise of Micro Transaction Anyplace, Anytime

Young entrepreneurs can now tap into this solution to translate their e-commerce ideas into reality with a quick and easy payment platform.

Douglas Halsall points out that this means Jamaican can shop online using their Quisk accounts, once an entrepreneur add their number, enabling their websites to receive Quisk Transactions, quote: “There are limited or no focus on ecommerce transactions in Jamaica. One of the things that alienate ecommerce in Jamaica is that many credit and debit cards can’t be used on ecommerce sites because it compromises the pin. Only 10% of Jamaicans have a credit card, digitizing cash will open a market for ecommerce in Jamaica giving many great young entrepreneurs a golden opportunity market and sell their products or service”.

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Additionally, Jamaicans face significant challenges developing relationships with banks, where they have an account, and are burdened with the rising cost of transaction fees. Quisk allows customers to do transactions without physically going into a bank or speaking to a bank representative from the list of devices specified, quote: “With Quisk you are able to send resources to loved ones using your mobile phone, even when they are otherwise inaccessible. In our setting, we can easily send funds to family and friends across the island with none of us having to pay huge fees or go into a bank or payment agency”.

Most interestingly, Quisk can be used for micro-transactions as pointed out by Douglas Hansall, quote: “Imagine paying your taxi fare, bus fare and even buying your lunch from a road side vendor, or produce in the market, without having to take out cash. Quisk will allow you to do all of that. In addition, if you have children who have gone off to school you can send them money from the comfort of your living room and they will be able to access the funds immediately. You can also pay weekly or fortnightly paid workers using the platform and they can access the funds without having to go to the bank”.

He has a really good point here.

On a regular Debit or credit Card transactions most stores specify a minimum spend of between JA$300 to JA$500 to use their cards at a POS terminal. With Quisk, you can do transactions with a value as little as JA$5 as there is no lower limit to how much you can spend, top-up or share.

Technically speaking, anyone that does transactions that value below JA$500 can use Quisk to do transactions. This includes:

  • Taximen
  • Route buses
  • JUTC Buses
  • Road side vendor
  • Market Vendor in Coronation Market

Quisk essentially allows you to have digitized cash as pointed out by Douglas Hansall, quote: “…your money, without cash, without cards, without wallets…in your bank”.

Ultimately, it will also make it possible for small children in Primary and High school to have a secure form of money that they can use to spend, top-up or share with friends. Opens up some huge potential for e-commerce website entrepreneurs, app builders and even newspaper ads, as the merely need only place their phone number in their website, app or add to enable Quick transactions.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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