EXUMA, BAHAMAS — As one bank shuttered its brick-and-mortar operations on Exuma, a money transfer service opened shop over the weekend, providing convenient services for those who prefer in-person transactions when sending and receiving money.
On Saturday, GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) welcomed customers at its newest location, Forbes’ D&Z Customs Brokerage in George Town.
According to businessman Naaman Forbes, Exumians required greater access to basic financial services, including local and international transfers, hence the partnership with GKMS, the Western Union agent.
“Western Union is a service that can assist us. We had a bank that left us and so now we have another alternative,” said Forbes. “Whatever it takes to maximize Exuma’s potential, Forbes Enterprise is here to assist.”
The Exuma location is an important addition to the company’s growing network, said Lovy Jean, operations manager at GKMS Bahamas.
“At this new location, we are committed to providing first-rate services currently enjoyed in Jamaica and 10 other countries throughout the Caribbean,” he said. “Our goal is to meet the needs of those customers who seek reliable, convenient, face-to-face transactions.”
Customers embraced the business with open arms. Throughout the day, there were giveaways of GraceKennedy products, spin-the-wheel surprises, prizes and free refreshments provided.
Eduardo Cordero Sanchez from the Dominican Republic (DR) won $200 towards any bill. He chose minutes to top up his phone to stay in touch with loved ones back home.
The father of three came to GKMS to collect a payment from his DR-based employer. The service was “muy bueno”, very good, said the 37-year-old civil engineer.
Marina Butler-Babwah was among other customers flowing in throughout the day. She stopped in to send money to Trinidad and won $50 towards a bill.
“The service was awesome. The price was cheaper, and I was in and out. I’ll be coming all the time,” she said.
Although not present Saturday, when word of the opening reached him, businessman Dominic Sturrup, executive chairman of Bahamas Striping Group of Companies (BSGC), said it’s convenient to have an array of options. His Nassau-based operations are engaged in the design and construction of 10 miles of roadwork on the island.
“When we mobilized to Exuma and hired Exumians, everyone needed to have a bank account. It was easier for us to utilize Royal Bank since Scotiabank was closing down,” he said. “This might be another option where individuals from Exuma could get paid for their services.”
GKMS is open Mondays to Saturdays 9am to 5pm. The latest opening brings the company’s total number of locations in The Bahamas to seven — five on New Providence, one on Grand Bahama and the newest addition on Exuma.