Most Jamaicans in the diaspora are in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. Over 90 per cent of the 2017 and 2018 remittances to the Latin American Country came from the three countries. According to the Pew Research Centre, Jamaica received a total of US $2,522 million in 2017 alone. The money sent to Jamaica plays an important role both at the national and household levels.
The Bank of Jamaica has increased its monitoring of inflows and regulation of the ways through which money gets into the country. Therefore, it helps to know the different ways you can send money to Jamaica, what is required to send the money, how your loved ones will access it, the needs to prioritise, and the factors to consider. The sections below will give you that and more.
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There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Jamaica but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about sending and receiving money.
According to a survey done on remittances in Jamaica, 64 per cent of the respondents said that senders determine the transfer method to use. There are several ways you can send money to Jamaica depending on your preference and convenience.
Jamaica is a member of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). Therefore, Jamaicans in the diaspora can send money to their loved ones through interbank wire transfers in United States dollar (USD), Canadian dollar (CAD), Sterling pound (GBP) or in Euro (EUR).
The Bank Identifier Code (BIC) or Swift Code to use will vary depending on the beneficiary bank you are sending. For instance, when sending money to JN Bank, the code to use is JNBSJMKN. When you are transferring to the National Commercial Bank Jamaica, the BIC is JNCBJMKX.
The fees for incoming transfers are charged based on the currency. On average, CAD and USD transfers cost about $5 while transfers in EUR are much lower. These rates are applicable for transfers totalling $100 and beyond.
When transferring via Automated Clearing House (ACH), the maximum you can send per transaction is $ 7,300. This measure was put in place by the Bank of Jamaica, effective May 2, 2016. Initially, the maximum value per transaction was $14,700.
International money transfers to Jamaica can take up to 5 days to complete. The duration largely depends on the number of checks to be done and the intermediary banks involved.
While banks have served their role well in the different remittance corridors, money transfer service providers are gradually taking over. These providers are offering much faster and more convenient ways to send money to Jamaica.
The transfer service providers vary based on the transfer corridors. Providers such as Xoom, Ria, MoneyGram, Western Union, WorldRemit, Tranferwise and Transfast are available on almost all transfer corridors and help you send money to Jamaica in minutes.
The advantage of money transfer service providers is that they have outlets in places convenient for sending. Setting up is also much easier. All you need to do is to sign up for an account, pay for your transfer using a debit card, a credit card, bank transfer or direct bank debit and send.
You can make your transfers on the website, through downloadable mobile apps, or through send bots for providers like MoneyGram. Money transfer service providers give you a variety of ways through which you can send money to Jamaica.
Jamaica is among the 30 participating countries to which you can send money through an international money order. If you are in the United States, you can walk into any post office and ask the cashier for an international money order. It costs about $3.85 per order. The maximum you can send in a single money order is $700.
When sending money to Jamaica, you’ll need to provide some information as requested by the MTOs. The information may vary from one provider to another, though such variations are minimal. The following is a general list of what is required when sending money to Jamaica.
The Jamaican government has been very keen on issues of money laundering and terrorism financing. To ensure successful remittance, some providers may ask for more information on a case by case basis.
A remittance survey done in 2010 in Jamaica, concentrated on several areas amongst them the usage of the money received. They separated frequent receivers from those who receive money at random. The money received is used in a variety of areas.
More than 30 per cent of the money received is used to pay for utilities (19 per cent) and food (18 per cent). The cost of living in Jamaica is relatively lower than in most places in the world. However, with less than expected improvements in poverty rates, many Jamaicans still depend on remittances to supplement their household incomes.
According to statistics obtained from the Bank of Jamaica over 14 per cent of remittances go toward education. Typical expenses include tuition, school supplies, and everyday needs.
This expenditure item takes up 10 per cent. It includes new builds and renovations of existing homes. The cost of real estate in areas such as Kingston can gobble up a large percentage of this money.
The survey report showed that 7 per cent of the money received is used to pay for medical treatments. The public healthcare system in Jamaica is not as effective as the private health care system. Though pricey, most people go to private care institutions.
Households in Jamaica invest about 6 per cent of the remittances. Typical investments include financial instruments and real estate. Some of them use the money received as startup capital for their businesses.
The portion most households allocate to savings is approximately 9 per cent. In case of emergencies, most households use savings to supplement their existing resources.
Families in Jamaica allocate remittances starting from basic needs going up the pyramid. Savings are often low in families that barely receive enough to cover their housing, education, and utilities.
Whatever your reason for sending money home, money transfer service operators will help you send money fast, conveniently, and cost-effectively. Many Jamaicans in the diaspora are moving to money transfer services to capitalise on the following benefits.
Once you register, you can pay for your transfer through debit card, credit card, or bank transfer and send online or through a physical store.
When sending money to Jamaica, there are certain things you need to bear in mind. Top among them are global economic performance, exchange rates, and regulatory requirements.
With providers jumping in to take advantage of the expanding Jamaican remittance corridors, competition may see better services introduced and transaction fees falling. However, don’t take the providers word at face value. Ensure you get independent information on sending and receiving, and do your own comparison to find the best provider or method of transfer.
The fastest way to transfer money to Jamaica is through Ria Money Transfer’s fast service. Ria Money Transfer’s fast service will see to it that your money reaches its Jamaican destination in a matter of minutes. Ria Money Transfer’s fast service also doesn’t cost too much more than the slow service. It also compares well to the other competitors when it comes to price.
The cheapest way to send money is through TransferWise. TransferWise charges an upfront fee that appears larger, but they more than make up for this with their absence of hidden currency conversion costs.
The easiest way is also through TransferWise. TransferWise is a very simple service to use. All you have to do is tap in the amount of money and the destination. After that, you just complete the payment to TransferWise, then your money will be on its way to Jamaica. From there, it only takes a day or two to get there.
The second thing that makes TransferWise great is how many countries you can send money from. This makes it more ubiquitous as well as more convenient for frequent travelers.
The current exchange rate for the Jamaican Dollar (JMD) is 140.5594 JMD per American Dollar (USD), as of the time this was written. The JMD reached a high of 141.1063 JMD per USD, and a low of 133.7016 JMD per USD over the last 90 days. The average exchange rate for the JMD was 137.9404 JMD per USD over the last 90 days.
The JMD has held an average volatility rate of 0.76% over the last 90 days. This is a moderate volatility rate, but the JMD has gone through significant fluctuations over the course of the last two years. You can reasonably expect moderate, but somewhat unpredictable fluctuations in currency exchange rates to continue going forward, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
The overall best way is through TransferWise. TransferWise offers the best balance between cost, speed, and ease of use of the money transfer services in Jamaica. Furthermore, it’s very easy to use from so many different countries and doesn’t give users any real hassle. Because of its versatility and well-rounded offer, TransferWise is the best way to go.