January 25, 2021

Jamaican central bank plans electronic payments regulation revamp

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is planning a 2021 revamp to its rules governing electronic payment service providers (PSPs).

BOJ is looking to change the way it oversees electronic payments

The central bank has released a new consultation paper seeking industry feedback on a set of new proposals. The amendments affect the country’s Payment and Clearing Settlements Act (PCSA).

Changes include a revamp on oversight for clearing and settlement systems connected to electronic PSPs, and coverage on new methods and technologies for payment.

A new framework for PSPs has been in the works in Jamaica since 2019. According to the Jamaica Gleaner, central bank official deemed its existing rules inefficient for covering emerging technology.

The proposals are a move by BOJ to plug legal gaps in its coverage of PSPs as non-deposit taking institutions.

BOJ says that as the payment system overseer, it is “committed to the development of an enabling legislative framework.

“It will create an enabling environment to drive innovation in payment services while reducing risk and protecting consumers.”

The central bank adds the amendments “will bring Jamaica’s laws on payment services regulation in line with international requirements for payment oversight and anti-money laundering (AML) supervision.”

The central bank created a sandbox for digital services in May 2020. It includes the testing and launch of prepaid cards.

Jamaica, which has a population of 2.9 million people, recorded 134 million electronic payments in 2019, totalling around $4 billion in value.

Related: Jamaica National Bank announces full UK launch