When Netania Mundell’s father migrated to the United Kingdom (UK) two years ago, it left a huge void in her life, an experience many families with loved ones living overseas can relate to. However, Netania and her father have made excellent use of Information Communication Technology (ITC) to shrink the thousands of miles which physically separate them.
“My father has an iPhone, therefore, we speak for up to two hours on Sundays, using “FaceTime,” and we also talk during the week,” Netania related.
Netania, a digital marketer, points out that she has no immediate plans to go to the UK. However, her father has returned to Jamaica three times to visit his family.
Not only has Netania and her father been able to keep the family bond by using ITC, they have also made use of remittance technology. Her father would send funds to her JN Money Card, while she was a student at The University of the West Indies.
“It was so convenient. You don’t have to go out of your way to collect the funds. You don’t have to go to a location or join a line. I would get a text message telling me that the funds had arrived and then, I would go to the ATM and collect it,” she explained.
Now that she has completed university, the focus has turned to her sister who also receives remittances on her JN Money Card to facilitate her attendance at university.
Similarly, Charmaine Dennis, who has been residing in Alberta, Canada, since last November, uses both communication and remittance technologies to maintain the family ties with her three adult children and her parents, in Jamaica.
“I created a family WhatsApp group where we post photographs, videos and voice notes, as well as do video chats. My parents are now getting the hang of it and can send videos, as well as, do video chats,” she related.
Using JN Money Online, Ms. Dennis said that she has been able to send funds real time to her family.
Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
“It is literally a saviour. It is the best thing since sliced bread!” Ms. Dennis exclaimed. “They [her family] can put dem pot pon fire, go collect di money, purchase food and go home to cook, especially if dem doing soup,” she said, with a chuckle.
“Everyone I talk to in Jamaica, I tell them about it. When you have something good, you need to tell others about it,” Ms. Dennis maintains.
Horace Hines, general manager, JN Money Services, owners and operators of the JN Money brand, said that the company has been playing an integral role in assisting families to stay connected and meet their financial obligations.
“Many children are able to go to school, especially university, as a result of the financial support they receive from a parent or loved one living abroad. Funds are also sent for groceries, medical expenses, or to take care of accommodation costs.”
Mr Hines pointed out that remittance technology has made it convenient and safe for both the sender and the recipient of funds.
“Remitters are no longer required to go to an agent to complete a form and join a line to transmit money to someone. Technology has made a big difference as to how we operate today,” he stated.
The JN Money Online platform, which is accessible at www.jnmoneyonline.com, has been used by a growing number of clients, since its introduction to the market two years ago. It facilitates persons living in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Canada to send funds online to their loved ones in countries where JN Money Service is available.
“This online platform is quite user-friendly, safe and it takes very little time to complete the process. Persons can send funds to a savings account or to a JN Money card in real time, which makes it convenient especially in emergency situations,” Mr Hines pointed out.
“The JN Money card can also be used to collect remittance at any Multi-Link ATM, or be used as a debit card at Point-Of-Sale terminals,” he further said, adding that, “One does not have to have a bank account to be able to use the JN Money card.”
Mr Hines indicated that the company is currently working to expand its digital offerings, which will be available soon.
According to the Remittance Bulletin, published on the Bank of Jamaica website, the January to December 2018 period reflected remittance inflows totalling US$2,345.8 million, overall. The website also outlined that, the largest source market of remittances to Jamaica are the USA, followed by the UK, Canada and The Cayman Islands, respectively.