Cash remittance firm returns to CI$ transactions

| 18/12/2015 | 3 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS Business): Following what were described as constructive discussions with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) and Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton last week, JN Money Services is accepting local dollars once again. Leesa Kow, the company’s MD, said a new proposal has facilitated JNMS and other similar companies to accept Cayman Islands dollars again as payment for cash transfers. However, the firm has not revealed which bank is now supporting the local firm.

At a public meeting last week, the firm’s chairman had indicated that Scotiabank, which has also partnered with Western Union to allow that firm to restart operations in Cayman after closing in the summer, would be offering the necessary retail banking services to JNMS.

JNMS, which had previously enjoyed the lion’s share of the cash remittance business locally, said that given the demand at this time of year, the return of the Cayman Islands dollar transfer service was good news.

JNMS operates the JN Money Transfer and QuikCash brands and acts as the agents for MoneyGram in Cayman, all of which will now be accepting Cayman dollars.

Crisis hit the money transfer business in Cayman this summer when retail bankers Fidelity and Cayman National announced they were no longer going to do business with cash remittance firms due to the risks associated with the business and because of pressure from their own US banking partners.

With nowhere to convert the local dollars, the money transfer businesses were stuck. Western Union closed its doors, while JNMS stayed in operation but was only able to accept US dollars, which led to a massive surge of pressure on US currency.

However, following talks between the various players, Western Union was the first to find a new partner in Grace Kennedy through Scotiabank, and reopened at branches of Foster’s Supermarket earlier this month. JNMS continued in talks with CIMA, the financial services ministry and retail banks until they also found a way to tackle the issue and return their local currency service.

With more than half of Cayman’s workforce from overseas, cash remittance services are big business locally and around $180 million in cash is dispatched abroad annually. But with the global pressure on financial institutions to not only know their clients but to know exactly where the money they handle comes from, the cash-based industry has been hit hard with many banks making a decision that the reward is no longer worth the risk in handling cash from money service firms.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I noticed Western Union used the exchange rate 1.1535714 CI to US. or .8668516.

    I thought I heard a fuss when the firms stopped accepting USD about someone charging more than .84

    People… Is it illegal or are they just taking advantage of us?

  2. Tim says:

    Just another day in the confused private sector.

  3. happy customer says:

    Proud of JNMS they are #1 in around the world and the Jamaicans were thirsty for them to come back. We love you JNMS and we will continue to support you. We were happy that you didn’t give-up on us when you heard we joined those long lines at fosters, it was only until you had the go -ahead. Sorry western union this was just temporary.

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