The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has announced that some 43 of its over 300 automated banking machines (ABMs) islandwide will be ready to facilitate cash withdrawals of the new banknotes scheduled for roll-out from June 15-16.

“Additionally, intelligent ABMs at 12 locations will also be able to accept deposits of the new banknotes,” the bank said in a notice this week, also indicating that it will continue to accept the old banknotes until they are discontinued.

“NCB aims to complete the upgrade of its entire fleet of ABMs by September 2023 and will advise customers of its progress via our various channels,” the notice further said.

The retrofitting of ABMs, which has been taking place across financial institutions, will allow them to readily ensure a smooth transition and circulation of the newly redesigned polymer banknotes.

The notes said to be more durable and possessing enhanced security features, represent a crucial step in the modernisation of Jamaica’s monetary system. The circulation life of the notes is expected to increase by as much as 50 per cent.

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), which has been piloting the introduction, commenced the roll-out process on Thursday, indicating that both the old and new notes will remain in circulation, co-existing as legal tender until further advised.

President of the Jamaica Banker’s Association (JBA) Septimus ”Bob” Blake, who is also the CEO of NCBJ, had recently said that all banking entities were actively working to participate in the circulation, further noting that over 800 ABMs islandwide were being prepared.

“We are united in our efforts, working collectively to complete the necessary upgrades,” he said.

“Customers are advised to look for advisories from their respective banks regarding the completion of ABM upgrades and the availability of the new notes from the machines. Additionally, each entity will inform customers when they are ready to dispense the new polymer banknotes and accept them for deposits,” Blake stated.

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