Blockchain for Banking News

To promote its CBDC, Jamaica plans to fund PoS equipment upgrades

jamaica cbdc jam dex

Jamaica launched its JAM-DEX central bank digital currency (CBDC) into production in April 2022. Seven months later, we reported slow merchant onboarding because retailers needed to upgrade their Point of Sale (PoS) equipment. That’s an ongoing issue. Bank of Jamaica Governor Richard Byles is now willing to fund some of the PoS upgrades in order to support the JAM-DEX QR codes. 

Jamaica has around 50,000 PoS machines. The central bank has committed to getting a technology provider to upgrade 10,000 of the more modern machines to support the JAM-DEX QR codes. “We are willing to form a joint venture to finance that along with the DTIs (deposit taking institutions) to replace the old PoS machines so that they can take the QR code,” according to the Jamaica Observer. “I think it will be successful, eventually,” he said.

The uphill battle with physical merchants explains the enthusiasm around creating a digital marketplace for e-commerce last year, allowing the use of JAM-DEX.

So far, there are 260,000 wallet holders out of a population of 2.8 million. But Jamaica doesn’t want to promote the CBDC further until the PoS issue is resolved.

Our November 2022 report also noted there was only one wallet provider, National Commercial Bank. But Jamaica National Bank was meant to be testing a wallet. That hasn’t yet launched. Nor has a third one announced in August.

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