GraceKennedy Money Services launches GK MPay Mobile Money

“GKMS handles a lot of financial transactions from all over the world.   Our own internal systems are best-in-class and have very stringent compliance and security features”

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Vice President of Business Development at GKMS, Michael McNaughton commenting on their new GK MPay, mobile money service solution

GKMS (GraceKennedy Money Services) has, yet again, raised the technological bar. They’ve launched their GK MPay, their mobile money service solution at an event at Hope Gardens on Wednesday February 7th 2017.

They had quite a red and white themed press launch with a P2P competition that allowed patrons to win US$10000. They also had a lot of their corporate partners on hand to celebrate with them.

This service is delivered on an exclusive digital platform developed by Oberthur Technologies, a world leader in digital security. The technology behind GK MPay is based on the use of QR codes as I’d predicted in GK MPay in January 2017 puts GraceKennedy in E-commerce Revolution.

GK MPAY uses Oberthur Technologies’s Mobile Money platform, rated among the top 5 in the world. This involves:

  • Peer-to-peer transfer
  • Mobile phone top-ups
  • Cash-in/cash-out

Best of all, you can use the MPay mobile wallet even if you have a regular feature phone aka a “banger” to quote CEO of GKMS, Michelle Allen: “We have designed the wallet so that it is convenient for our customers. Even if you have a basic phone, you can use the wallet, simply by dialling *170#. And customers of both telecom companies may use it.”

GKMS launches GK MPay – Top-up from Telecoms Provider, Bank Transfers and Remittances

Clearly GKMS, the financial arm of GraceKennedy, spend a lot of time researching their product before launch to quote Michelle Allen: “We spent a lot of time and money researching technology vendors and chose Oberthur because of their experience and high standards in security and designing fit for purpose solutions”.

Not only does GK MPay allows users of features phone to use their phone as a Mobile Wallet, similar to NCB’s Quisk as noted in Quisk heralds e-commerce Micro-Transactions for Jamaican Entrepreneurs but it also allows top-ups from both Digicel and FLOW Jamaica. With some 40 service providers, facilitated by Bill Express, a part of the GKMS network, they’ve hit the ground running, with CEO Don Wehby promising remittance transfers direct to GK MPay users during the press launch.

So no more waiting in long lines at GKMS; you can MPAY it!!

Additionally, funds can be added from your mobile wallet from your online bank account, specifically customer at the following banks:

  • First Global Bank
  • Scotiabank
  • National Commercial Bank

Michelle Allen was quick to point out this key feature, quote: “We built in the capability of transferring funds online from your bank account to your mobile wallet. So you don’t have to go into an agent location to add money to your wallet”.

The security features offered by GK MPay are extensive. Users must input a PIN for every financial transaction and each transaction triggers an SMS notification once there is a change in the user’s credit balance.

Mobile app and USSD interfaces can only be enabled via a smartphone; emulation on desktop isn’t possible. Also, the GK MPay wallet is restricted to one physical phone per customer at any point in time.

To get the app in the first place, you have to go to any of the 40 Bill Express service providers clearly marked with the MPAY sign in order to sign up for an account.

Once you’re registered, an authentication PIN (Personal Identification Number) is sent to your phone, somewhat similar to Quisk. You then download the app and you’re finished, as your phone number authenticates you.  But it’s making purchases that most interesting, as it works just like Whatsapp Web interface on computers, which requires pairing via a QR Code.

When you go to any of the merchants that support GK MPAY, all you have to do is scan a QR Code sticker that the merchant will stick to their cashier’s station. So instead of pulling out your debit card, all you have to do is scan the QR code and authenticate using your PIN.

So if you’re feeling a little worried that hackers can get to your money, GKMS and Oberthur have assessed GK MPay’s technology, putting it through rigid tests to quote Vice President of Business Development at GKMS, Michael McNaughton: “GKMS handles a lot of financial transactions from all over the world.  Our own internal systems are best-in-class and have very stringent compliance and security features.”

Fearing phone thieves may get access to your bank account and other monies? Michael McNaughton says that won’t happen, as they’ll disable the account once you can prove you are you, quote: “If a user loses his or her phone, the account may be disabled and the balance transferred, once appropriate checks are done. All transactions are logged, and may be displayed via the mobile app, USSD menu, or via the customer self-care web portal”.

My next trip to Hi-Lo is gonna be an interesting one, as I’ll probably be trying out the GK MPAY when GKMS officially launches to the public on Friday!

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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.