First Global offers free bank accounts to COVID-19 grants recipients

Beneficiaries of the government’s COVID financial assistance programme who are collecting payouts at Western Union outlets are being offered free bank accounts by First Global Bank (FGB).

GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS), the Western Union agent in Jamaica, will be disbursing funds from over 100 agent locations islandwide.

Recipients are required to present the following to collect their funds: A valid government-issued photo ID (Driver’s Licence, Passport, Voter’s ID), Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN), GOJ CARE Reference Number.

Recipients opening bank accounts may use the same government ID and TRN they used to collect their funds.

They will also have to complete a simplified account opening form and sign an authorisation form.

The opening of bank accounts will be facilitated at 60 GKMS locations.

These reduced requirements are intended to remove some of the barriers customers often face in opening bank accounts. 

Opening an FGB account also means that the next time the recipient is receiving a money transfer or a Government payment, they will be able to receive the funds directly into their bank account.

GKFG President & CEO Grace Burnett says that promoting financial inclusion is one of the key strategies of the financial group.

“The GraceKennedy Financial Group has demonstrated its support for and belief in financial inclusion for all Jamaicans most tangibly through the creation of our GK ONE locations.

At these locations, customers can access a myriad of personal financial services – banking, remittance, bill payments, consumer loans and insurance. Some locations, in addition, offer cambio services and coin exchange. We are now continuing that push for financial inclusion by allowing a simpler way of opening bank accounts for our GOJ CARE recipients. We support financial inclusion because it is a safer and easier way for all customers to manage money.”

Meanwhile, FGB President and CEO Mariame McIntosh Robinson added that having a bank account allows customers to gain access to more financial services, including savings products.

“With the COVID-19 crisis, it has become increasingly important for Jamaicans to lessen their reliance on cash. Businesses and services are moving online to cashless channels, and the easiest, most convenient way to ensure constant access is by having a bank account. In addition, once you have a bank account with a free FGB VISA debit card, you can receive your remittances directly to your bank account; receive payments from others; purchase items online; as well as save for the future including participating in our Partna Plan. Very little fees are charged for these services.” she said

GKMS and FGB are members of the GraceKennedy Financial Group (GKFG).