Credit union to launch first-ever debit Mastercard

A first ever in Jamaica is taking place next month when the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League (JCCUL) rolls out it debit Mastercard to credit union members.

JCCUL’s Chief Executive Officer Robin Levy, who made the announcement in an interview with the Jamaica Observer’s Caribbean Business Report (CBR), disclosed that the cards are actually here in Jamaica having signed the deal with MasterCard way back in December 2019. Since then the JCCU has been strategising on the implementation of the credit union Mastercard in the Jamaican marketplace between the middle to the end of next month.

Levy is optimistic that the card will be a sure hit in Jamaica declaring, “our cards, we think is going to be the best card in Jamaica. It will be a single card with dual use EMV, so credit union members will be able to access their savings because it’s a regular debit card not a prepaid card tied to their credit unions savings account or other designated accounts in the credit union.”

EMV is a payment method based upon a technical standard for smart payment cards and for payment terminals and automated teller machines, which can accept them. EMV originally stood for “Europay, Mastercard, and Visa”, the three companies which created the standard.

The JCCUL deal with Mastercard will be a first for the credit union movement in Jamaica, as credit union members will be able to use their debit card for online shopping and shopping. JCCUL had selected to use the services of Mastercard, as it provided a better set of options compared to the offerings of the competition.

Mastercard also supports its products with its own money, so there is no risk of failure. The credit union movement provides a large membership base for Mastercard, which makes this an attractive prospect for that service provider.


Levy argues that credit union members do not require other cards once they have this MasterCard debit card, as it will take care of all their transactions. He told CBR about many other value added features of the card such as the payment of local rates, which are much lower than Mastercard rates.

According to Levy, “it will probably the lowest cost card out there and the money stays in the credit union until such time that the member uses the card…we also already have the feature of being able to put a line of credit at the back of those debit cards.”

Continuing, he explains, ”pretty much it (debit Mastercard) almost spends like a credit card so if you run out of savings in your account, it will automatically trigger a loan, which would activate money into the account and the member continues to spend at a rate lower than a credit card.”


1. Shop online or buy products from overseas;

2. Travel and make purchases using this Mastercard debit card;

3. Use other credit unions to access services;

4. Access loans and lines of credit much faster and easier;

5. Spend their own money at a lower cost using this card;

6. Pay bills, transfer funds and carry out other online banking functions.

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