Jamaica remittance companies bullish on prospects

(Jamaica Gleaner) On the back of record remittances in 2011 that narrowly edged out pre-recession highs, companies in the money services sector say they are expecting the pace of inflows to improve even further this year and are edging their bets through network expansion and new partnerships.

Remittances rose to a new high of US$2.025 billion of inflows last year. The last time Jamaica hit that mark was in 2008 when inflows were recorded at US$2.021 billion.

The improvement tracks with a rise in job prospects in the United States from where 58 per cent of total remittances to Jamaicans now flow.

The other top markets are United Kingdom, 17 per cent; Canada, 11 per cent; and Cayman Islands, six per cent.

jockeying for business Inside Jamaica, as the market heats up, so has the jockeying for business.

GraceKennedy Money Services for example, which holds the Western Union franchise for the Caribbean, cut money transfer fees towards the end of last year to beat back any incursion by other players.

GKMS expects business to remain fairly robust even with problems being faced by indebted Eurozone countries.

“… Since the majority of remittances that come into Jamaica may be described as non-discretionary transfers – that is to say, money is sent for daily care purposes, example, spouse, children and parental care – this form of remittance will continue, even if there is a recession,” said GKMS Vice-President Noel Greenland.

 

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