Quality of service at ABMs expected to improve, following new standards issued by BOJ

The quality of service experienced at Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) across the country is expected to improve in the coming months. 

This, as the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has issued new service-level standards for the operation of ABMs by Deposit-Taking Institutions (DTIs), which it regulates. 

The new standards were issued yesterday, April 2, and give DTIs a 9-month transition period to bring themselves into conformity with the guidelines, given the far-reaching nature of the service-level standards.

In a release, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) explains that compliance will be assessed through its review and publication of monthly reports from the DTIs. 

It says the monthly reports on the performance of each DTI fleet of ABMs will be published with a two-month lag. 

These reports will include the geographical distribution of ABMs, the number of machines that were installed, the proportion of ABMs that were operational for the reporting period, the uptime for operational machines over the period and the recovery time for malfunctioning machines.

The BOJ explains that the ABM standards have been issued in a context where despite the increasing availability and use of electronic payment methods, a significant number of Jamaicans still rely on cash to conduct transactions.

 It says the service-level standards have been developed as best practice principles governing the management and oversight of ABMs and form part of ongoing work to promote fairer treatment and enhanced protection for financial consumers.

 BOJ explains that the issuing of the standards follows consultations with the DTIs.

It says the new framework will be supported by appropriate legislation under the twin peaks system of financial sector regulation which is being developed.

 The new standards address the availability of cash, infrastructure maintenance and the management of service disruption, ABM fees and charges, the deployment of machines, accessibility and ease-of-use, fraud minimization, the safety and security of customers, and financial education of ABM users. 

While no monetary sanction will be applied as a result of breaches of the guidelines, the BOJ says non-adherence may give rise to supervisory concerns around safety and soundness with the attendant supervisory consequences. 

The full list of guidelines can be found in the document, “Minimum Automated Banking Machines Service-Level Standards to Strengthen Consumer Protection for Customers of Deposit-Taking Institutions,” which has been published on the BOJ’s website.


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