The government of Jamaica is taking action to boost the use of its not-yet-officially-launched central bank digital currency.
This week, the government announced that the first 100,000 Jamaicans who use the national digital currency after April 1st will receive a deposit of 2,500 Jamaican dollars.
Jamaica’s digital currency to launch in Q2
The announcement was made by the Minister of Finance and Public Service, Nigel Clarke. According to him, this is an attempt to encourage people to use CBDC as an option to carry out transactions.
He reported on the distribution of money at the opening of the Budget Debate 2022/23 in the Chamber of Deputies, on Tuesday.
The Jamaican CBDC is named Jamaica Digital Exchange (JAM-DEX), and can be used by both families and businesses.
The implementation of local digital currency is, according to the government, part of the digital transformation of Jamaica’s economy.
According to the minister, between May and December 2021 the Bank of Jamaica carried out a successful pilot. Now, the national launch of CBDC is scheduled for the beginning of the second quarter.
As highlighted by Clarke, this is a fundamental milestone to be reached by the Government and the Central Bank, which will issue the JAM-DEX.
In addition, the minister informed that four more portfolio providers should be integrated by the Central Bank of Jamaica in June. Thus, the final number will be five providers.
Clarke noted that the larger the network that facilitates JAM-DEX, the more successful the coin will be.
“We will encourage informal and formal corner stores and community businesses to establish e-wallets and facilitate payments on JAM-DEX,” he added.
Digital Wallet for CBDC
The minister also highlighted that users can get a wallet automatically if they already have a bank account.
“If you don’t have a bank account, all it takes to set up a JAM-DEX enabled wallet is simplified Know Your Customer information: name, address, date of birth, tax registration number (TRN) and an ID with government-issued photo, such as a driver’s license, passport or voter ID card,” added the minister.
The wallet app can be downloaded by Jamaicans on any mobile device (phone, tablet or similar). Recharging can be done through all government-authorized agents.