Case Study: Lowering the Costs of Cash

How a leading bank in Jamaica issued Quisk accounts to reduce their retail costs while increasing transaction volumes and adding new digital customers.

National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited, or NCB is the largest financial group in Jamaica and is a member of the NCB Group of Companies. Started in 1837, NCB has a brand and legacy built on innovation, expertise, and sound and prudent management as a leading corporate citizen on the island. In 2016, NCB had 36 branch locations island-wide, including deposit accounts, unsecured and secured loans, credit cards, foreign exchange, and personal and private banking services and were the leading bank in Jamaica as measured by asset base and annual profit with over $500 million in revenue, a $1.5 billion dollar loan portfolio, and total assets just under $5 billion.

In pursuit of Group Managing Director Patrick Hylton’s vision of being an even faster, simpler, and stronger organization by 2020, NCB publicly announced a strategy in 2016 focusing on digitization, regional expansion, growing core business services and improving customer experience.  A key factor in achieving this goal was the launch of Quisk on the 12th of August 2016. Following the on-boarding of its customer base onto the Quisk platform, NCB initiated an EMV roll-out and digital Quisk enablement to its merchant network across the island.

NCB has long been committed to building the communities they serve, and bringing financial inclusion access to a range of urban and rural communities across Jamaica. By partnering with Quisk, the bank was able to offer an innovative payment solution to existing account holders while simultaneously adding early adopters and new customers without burdening their merchant network.

Jamaica has long had high mobile penetration rates but a large and costly to serve unbanked population. In an effort to reduce lines and lower retail banking costs, Quisk’s all digital and inclusive mobile money solution (available for both smartphone and basic feature phone users) gave NCB the ability to immediately compete against existing first generation mobile money solutions and e-wallets on the island.

Working with Quisk’s Product and Tech team, the bank passed Bank of Jamaica regulatory approvals, completed a pilot to over 1,500 bank employees, setup registration processes for KYC-compliant existing customers and new, all-digital banking customers, added Quisk’s SMS-registration functionality and created communications about the Quisk POS activation to a wide range of franchise locations and their merchant network.

In addition to delivering an API-driven and robust technology platform that required minimal customization, Quisk allowed NCB to create new revenue opportunities by converting traditionally cash transactions to digital ones. By delivering an innovative new digital product to compete in the marketplace the organization was able to leverage social media and communications teams, and engage directly with early adopters, the local tech community, and entrepreneurs at tradeshows, conferences, and events in a way that strengthened customer relationships and the brand. Finally, by increasing both cash transactions and transaction volumes in a sustainable way via Quisk’s integration to the bank’s core banking systems, the company was able to reduce account risk exposure and increase ROI and value for shareholders, account holders, and their merchant network.

NCB and Quisk are still working together to bring a broader range of digital payments to Jamaica.  Soon, they will be offering real-time digital utility payments, a regulatory compliant on-line betting payment platform, cash out at ABMs and much more.