#finance · 1 year ago

Banking in Jamaica is the worst

1. Only CIBC, a Canadian bank alerts you to when you get a deposit into your account through their app 2. Real time transactions are really 30 mins to couple hours 3. Not all machines accept your specific bank’s visa debit card (ridiculous) 4. Machines are almost always out of service. 5. The other day I experienced something truly dumb. NCB’s point of sale will bill your account, but it won’t register on the POS itself. Meaning NCB will take the money from your account, but it won’t make it to the merchant’s account. If you used an NCB card then the transaction will be reversed, but if you have any other card, you’re pretty much fucked. Let’s not even talk about how difficult it is to just open an account. I have many accounts, but I helped someone recently and it’s a nightmare… they’re still waiting


I tried to open one on a recent trip and the amount of documents I had to show was unacceptable and I still couldn’t open one. Meanwhile I can spend 10 mins and open another chase account from my mobile app here in USA


I agree. Here I can open account, apply for credit card all from my phone. In Jamaica , they’re practically asking for my first born son just to open an account.

It’s even worse if you’re a business owner. So many documents to prove your worth. It seems to be easiest when you’re an employee.


Drove 45 minutes to a bank in Portmore from Spanish Town and I joined a line that stretched outside, only to be told by the teller when I got to the front that this bank in particular does not cash cheques and I need to drive into town to cash my cheque. As if I’m trying to cash a million dollars.


Email or app notifications on deposits probably not even that hard for them to implement too.

  1. Poor customer service. Issues or challenges take days or weeks to resolve. Sometimes not at all
  2. NCB charges you for every transaction. (ATM withdrawals, PoS, Bank Transfers, etc)
  3. Needing to present all the same documents to open a second account with the same bank drives me crazy. It’s me! The same person that opened the first account. You already have my details!


Nothing new! When I lived in Jamaica… I remember spending an entire work day in CIBC just to start an account… I had to lie and take a day off from one job to start a JN account and stood inside the HWT location boldly exclaiming that I know nobody who banks with them and that my salary was never going to be going to it so either they were going to give it to me or not… I’m surprised the tactic worked! Had to tell them the only way to verify my job was to blow my cover that I wasn’t sick and give them the office number to call the front desk and ask for me… which luckily I was “out sick” so when the young lady confirmed they were like “ok”… Those days are behind me… Lol


This is why Jamaica is 40+ years behind the rest of the world. It’s like nobody has the power to think or come up with solutions. It’s just like give up and do nothing. Everything you said above is correct but it doesn’t make using crypto impossible. Not to mention what other options do you have, this whole thread is dedicated to the fact that banking in Jamaica is awful.

> No where accepts crypto payments

Nobody in the US accepted crypto 10 years ago either…. Get your friends to use it, get them to tell their friends, advocate crypto and educate people on how it works and people will naturally transition towards it since the benefits over traditional banking is so obvious.

> Open a crypto account and then do what with it?

You don’t “Open” a crypto account exactly, you just need to make a wallet which anyone can do on a computer or smartphone, you don’t even need an internet connection. So once you have an account you must look for ways to convert your JMD and other physical assets into crypto. There are many non-conventional ways you can achieve this, you could just Western Union a friend or family member in another country and get them to send you the crypto.


> but it doesn’t make using crypto impossible

It doesn’t make it impossible but it makes it equally as inconvenient as the current system. And if that’s the case there won’t be enough motivation to incentivize adoption.

> look for ways to convert your JMD and other physical assets into crypto

Why would I do this? If I’m paid in JMD, why go through the hassle of paying fees to convert it to USD and then fees to convert it to crypto and then watch as a day later my crypto is worth 10% less than it was a day before


> It doesn’t make it impossible but it makes it equally as inconvenient as the current system.

This is true, right now, but the more people who do this the easier it will become. If you want a better system, you have to create it, you cant just sit there on reddit and hope the government and bankers change for you.

> Why would I do this?

See title of this post.


Lynk is a subsidiary of NCB. It allows you to open a Digital Wallet account completely online : https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/remittance-lynk/


Also see low KYC accounts: https://kalilahreynolds.com/free-money/


VM allows you to open fully online as well: https://onboarding.myvmgroup.com/start.php

I feel the move toards a cashless society will help us to deal with this card/abm machine always down issue.