Prime Minister Andrew Holness has sought to reassure the public that the Government will not neglect members of the population who are not digitally inclined as they seek to transition to digital currency.
Instead, he says the Government will have education campaigns and programmes that will guide members of the population, particularly senior citizens, to make the transition.
Holness was responding to criticisms made by the Leader of Opposition, Mark Golding about the Government’s approach to digital currency, which the opposition leader said has put fear in the minds of some citizens who believe they will no longer have the option to use cash.
“The world is changing everyday with new technology and new ways of doing business to increase efficiency and effectiveness. We must therefore embrace the inevitability of technology and empower our people to utilize it,” said Holness.
He added: “At the same time we are acutely aware of the need to patiently guide our senior citizens and other members of our society in this direction while ensuring systems that do not place them at a disadvantage”.
Holness said he is also aware that some citizens in rural areas use cash as a primary means of payment and are either reluctant to make the change or lack equitable access to digital services.
“This government does not intend for its citizens to be left behind in the digital revolution. We will educate, sensitize and pilot our people through the effective use of technology to improve their lives,” said the Prime Minister.
Digital currency is any currency, money, or money-like asset that is primarily managed, stored, or exchanged electronically through the Internet.
A phased rollout of JAM-DEX, Jamaica’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), took place last year. As of February 18, 2023, JAM-DEX has 190,000 customers onboarded by Lynk, compared to Jamaica’s estimated population of three million.