KINGSTON, Jamaica — GraceKennedy Group Ltd (GK), which through its money services arm GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) controls just over 50 per cent of the remittance market in Jamaica, has indicated in its just released 2015 annual report that it will deploy its mobile wallet in 2016.
Mobile wallet will allow transactions to be conducted through cellular phones, precluding the need to stand in line at remittance agencies. Jamaicans received $2.3 billion in remittances during 2015. “We have made significant progress in our development of mobile wallet… We are currently in the pilot stage and anticipate being able to officially launch this product in 2016,” management indicated in the report. The group also hinted that regulatory approvals were still being sought for the mobile wallet’s full roll-out. “We remain committed to meeting all our regulatory responsibilities, following best practices and market standards in areas of accountability, transparency and business ethics. Compliance with laws and regulations is an integral part of our business and we continue to make the necessary investment in the right processes, technology and infrastructure in order to promote sustainability and confidence in our activities,” it was stated in the report. GK’s net profit of $2.76 billion due to shareholders in 2015 was mainly attributable to the performance of GraceKennedy Money Services under which the groups remittance operation falls, it was noted. GK earns in four major segments: food trading, banking and investments, insurance, and money services. The foods segment generated the largest share of revenue, accounting for 79 per cent, compared to 77 per cent in 2014. However, profit before tax was led by money services which contributed 57 per cent, up from 52 per cent in 2014. Food trading contributed 14 per cent, down from 19 per cent in 2014; while banking and investments contributed 12 per cent up from six per cent. Insurance contributed 13 per cent, up from 10 per cent in 2014. GK said: “The performance of the Jamaica remittance business line and the Trinidad cambio business line was largely responsible for the growth in revenue and profit (under money services). Our remittance business entered the Cayman market in November 2015 and the Turks and Caicos market in February 2016,” it was noted. The company indicated that it would continue expansion into other English-speaking Caribbean countries, commenting, “the market remains competitive with GraceKennedy Money Services continuing to dominate the remittance market in the Caribbean”. GraceKennedy Money Services now offers remittance services in 11 markets, after its recent entry in the Cayman Islands in November 2015 and Turks and Caicos, in February 2016. Its partnership with Western Union is 25 years old
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