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Need for Change in How Jamaicans Use Savings Accounts - Hayden-Cater

Mon 13 Nov, 2017

Jerome Harriott, Member Service Officer at the Knutsford MoneyShop in New Kingston, accepts a JN Bank cheque from a member. Maureen Hayden-Cater, managing director JN Bank says chequing accounts can help savers with managing their savings.  Managing director of JN Bank, Maureen Hayden-Cater, says there is need for behaviour change in the way Jamaicans use their savings accounts at banks, in order to encourage better savings habits that will support economic growth.

Speaking against the background of JN Bank’s efforts to expand the payment options for Jamaicans with the introduction of its suite of chequing accounts, Mrs Hayden-Cater underscored that many Jamaicans use their savings accounts at commercial banks as their primary transactional account, rather than for actual savings.

“Your chequing account provides another solution to assist you with managing your money so that you can separate your day-to-day payments from what you save,” she explained.  

She maintained that, “Your savings account can, therefore, be left to grow and increase your wealth; while your payments and other obligations are managed through your chequing account.”

She acknowledged that historically, chequing accounts are expensive to maintain, as they accrue various charges; however, she noted that in keeping with JN Bank’s philosophy, those charges are low or not included to ensure accessibility to a wider number of Jamaicans.   

“Being able to write a cheque, especially before the days of electronic banking, was an indication of ones ‘arrival’ in a sense. You could spend by simply writing a cheque without dipping into your savings," she related

"Now, we want everyone to have the option of payments by cheques,” she said, pointing out that cheques also offer a level of safety for customers in a growing environment of fraud and theft. 

The managing director disclosed that JN Bank, in keeping with its promise at its launch on February 1, has introduced a suite of chequing solutions, which will allow persons to access funds with low opening balances and fewer fees.   

Persons can access any of JN Bank’s innovative chequing accounts with a minimum opening sum ranging from $5,000 to $10,000; and, no dormancy fees are placed on the funds in their accounts.   

Saniah Spencer, chief marketing and product development officer, JN Bank, says the products have been designed to match the various lifestyles of Jamaicans.  

“There are Everyday personal and Business chequing accounts on which there is an option for persons to earn interest; a Go Green paperless chequing account for persons, who wish to access all the features of a chequing account, but do not desire to write cheques; and a Smart chequing account for persons who want the ability to use funds in their savings account to finance their chequing account, so that they can write occasional cheques if they want to,” she explained.   

Personal chequing account holders, except those with Smart accounts, also have access to a courtesy overdraft, as long as JN Bank is their primary commercial bank. That means they receive their income through their JN Bank chequing account; or maintain a significant sum of savings and loans with JN.