At one time money transfer and shipping were the only ways to get resources to Jamaica from overseas. And everyone has heard at least one horror story of someone in one country sending money to another country, only to be disappointed that the money was not spent as intended or that the shipped items were either the wrong size or type, damaged, or not shared fairly among the recipients.
Remittances to the Caribbean 2000 – 2017
NBC News “Jamaica’s ‘barrel children’ often come up empty with a parent abroad”
This happens around the world and Jamaica is no exception. While most recipients in Jamaica put the monies sent from overseas to good, appropriate use, there are those that will just as easily misuse or steal those funds. This can be costly. At the very least, it can cause rifts, fights and arguments between family members, friends or colleagues.
So how do you minimize the risk of losing money intended for a particular purpose in one country while you’re in another? Here are 3 simple steps.
Record your instructions
It’s a fact, many people dislike writing, and some just plain cannot. But, with today’s technology, that shouldn’t stop you from recording your transaction. Not only can you email and text your local contact in Jamaica, in some instances you can create a video or voice recording with clear instructions of what you’d like done and receive a clear response back from the local contact. If an issue arises between your local contact and you, this recording can be very appealing in a court of law in Jamaica.
Major source markets of remittances for Jamaica
The major problem with sending cash is that once you remit it, you lose control over what is done with it. You become totally reliant on the person who receives it. If you’re a control freak, that will drive you nuts. But, even if you’re not, wouldn’t it be way less stressful knowing for certain that your money is being spent on what you intend?
a. Pay a company, office or organization rather than an individual.
Mangoerrands pays these entities on your behalf. From supermarkets to schools, from stores to doctor’s office there are greater accountability structures to recover your money if there is a problem, than when you give cash directly to persons. Additionally you know exactly where the money is being spent.
You can check to find out if a business organization is a registered company by searching the Companies office of Jamaica.
b. Never pay cash. Pay electronically or with a bank check
This is a big no-no. Never send cash, particularly for large and important purchases. It is lots safer to send a check or send the funds electronically directly to a company’s bank account.
c. Get multiple quotes (Estimates)
This is particularly useful for recurrent and high-volume spending, such as construction projects, where large sums are spent buying various building materials repeatedly. This can be difficult to track without a record of the cost and receipt for your payment. Getting a price quote or, better yet, multiple estimates to compare prices is even better.
While Mangoerrands will email multiple price quotes to you and include a link to pay instantly at your request, you can also contact the different stores, offices or companies yourself to request quotes. Jamaican companies are increasingly coming online, making it easier to see their prices and ensuring that you get the best value for your money.
After you’ve spent your hard earned money from hundreds of miles away, how do you know that it actually achieved what you wanted? Here are three simple ways:
a. Ask someone you trust who is unconnected to your spending, to verify the activity you’re funding and to send pictures or use other methods of confirmation.
b. Hire an independent investigator to confirm what you’ve spent on.
c. Use technology such as GPS to view locations and track progress.
These three tips will significantly reduce your risk of exposure when spending in Jamaica from overseas.
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