Interview: Quisk and “Whats Next” in Kingston

The black tie event “What’s Next” was held on December 6, 2016, at The Worthington at Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, and Quisk was in Attendance as part of a selected blend of innovative and unique products and services  invited to give a video introduction and speak.

The festive event was hosted by premier Jamaican law firm Myers, Fletcher & Gordon (MF&G) and in addition to Quisk featured companies launching across the island, including a pre-paid cable company, new car distributor and a new way to purchase insurance online. The first-of-its-kind event was conceptualised to showcase “What’s Next” in the finance, automotive, insurance, energy and electronic media sectors.

“What’s Next” sparked tremendous interest for it’s use of pre-recorded video interviews playing during the event and between speakers. The following is a transcript of MFG’s interview with Quisk, conducted in mid November, 2016:


MFG: Tell us about what you and your local partners have created here in Jamaica with Quisk.

QUISK: What our team has created together is a better way to pay. Quisk provides a cloud-based Digital Services Platform to banks and financial institutions in emerging market economies around the world. Our purpose is simple: We make it possible to digitize any payment or transaction in Jamaica, on any device a customer is comfortable with—not just smartphones or computer applications, and NOT a service designed just for young people or those in Kingston, but a payment system for all Jamicans.

If you have a simple feature phone, if you live in a rural area, if you don’t have a computer at home, Quisk will work as well for you as it does for someone with the latest iphone.

MFG: Tell us a bit more about Quisk. How does it Work?

QUISK: It is simple. Register with Quisk for free. Right now you can call 1888-622-3477 or walk into any NCB branch to sign up, and you’ll be able to sign up with other banks in the future. Add money to your account. You don’t need to already have a bank account but when you sign up, you’ll be asked for your phone number and to create a secret PIN known only to you. That’s it: you’ve deposited digital cash into your account, and your mobile number is now your new Quisk account number.

Pay at any merchant or business that accepts Quisk simply by entering your mobile number and PIN on the keypad at the register, text money to family and friends, or take back cash out of your account from any merchant, anytime you want rather than travelling to a bank or waiting in a line. Quisk works on any phone, on any network on the island—digicel or flow—and since our launch several weeks ago, thousands of Jamaicans have signed up and are using it today.

Best of all, We are just getting started: Our partners at NCB will be announcing new functionality very soon, including a couple of payment types never seen before—I don’t want to give anything away yet, so I can’t say more.

MFG: As you know, banking apps and mobile money solutions have been launched in Jamaica, all thus far with limited success. What makes Quisk different?

QUISK: Mobile money solutions are simple e-wallets or mobile network operator driven systems. They often support limited transaction types, are exclusive to a bank, card company, or carrier network, and are restricted only to smartphone users.

Quisk functions just like a debit account, and is as easy for a bank as issuing a card. Funds are deposited at a bank branch, ATM, or agent location. Purchases or cash-out functions are conducted at merchant POS terminals. Bills can be paid, paychecks deposited, money transferred, all with an immediate text confirmation. Yet Quisk is different than debit cards in an important way: Because the technology allows accounts within a bank to be mapped to a phone number and a secure PIN, rather than a card number, transactions can be completed without a phone or wallet present, simply by entering that information on any connected device. This means Quisk is accessible to more people, in more places than any other payment system in the world today.

MFG: Tell us about the innovation itself.  What ignited the spark to create/provide these different products or services?

QUISK: The core of our platform is mobile numbers. If you look around, everyone has a different phone—some have a Digcel phone and a Flow phone—but they also all have mobile numbers. With our teams background at Cybersource and Visa, we knew we could use these numbers everyone knew in the place of account numbers, and give everyone in Jamaica the ability to save spend and manage money, on any device.

Our model allows us to add value to the banks, merchants, and customers we serve: To banks we bring new transaction volume and new customers into the system, without clogging branches and while reducing the costs of managing cash. To merchants we reduce losses and theft, increase customer purchasing power, and offer a way to reach and reward visitors directly via our Quisk loyalty program–all at fees lower than our card-based competitors. To Jamaican customers we deliver a new, secure, and more affordable way to pay.