By Karen Hamilton.
Independent Press and News Affiliates
August 16, 2022
When news first hit the Maroon Diaspora community in the USA about Maroons in Accompong Town and surrounding areas getting remittance service, better known as money transfer, many were in disbelief including myself. It was full time. To get the full details about the good news, this news reporter had to track down the persons who are working behind all of this undertaking. This reporter was fortunate for the opportunity to speak with the illustrious businessman who was making all this possible.
Mr. Dennis Foster, born and bred of the Accompong Maroons, Accompong Town, Cockpit Country(an Indigenous sovereign territory, surrendered and ceded to the maroons in 1738 after eight decades of war with the British Empire) is the Chairman of The Foster Indigenous Sovereign Hotel.
Mr. Dennis Foster in this exclusive interview explains why he wants to invest in his people, the Maroons and the place of his birth.
Mr. Foster said, “whenever I have to send money to my family and friends in Accompong Town it becomes a hassle for them, they have to leave Accompong, drive all the way to another town, they have to find a ride, find money to pay for the ride, to and from. They have to find taxi fare they don’t have all the time, plus they have to find the time which is always a hassle”.
Mr. Foster goes on to explain that he had a conversation with his team and he has made a progressive decision, saying enough of this waste of time and money, a remittance service is needed in Accompong Town and I am going to make sure one is created. I know it will be an expensive venture, it will cost millions of Jamaica dollars but it will worth the investment for my people.
This is where the idea of having a money transfer business was born. What if the Maroons could have a digital currency that they could use to do a variety of financial duties, like investing in their future? This is where the business was created, a digital currency was born.
Attorneys and technological advisory personnel along with software design engineers are currently in conversation with a few banks and the U.S. Government to file FinCEN Form 107 with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at the U.S. Treasury Department. This is required within 180 days of starting the remittance business under the Bank Secrecy Act, which regulates money transfer services that are acting as non-bank entities.
“The unique thing is that we are creating a transfer system for the Maroons, meaning anywhere in the world you are located you can send money to the Maroons, but the Maroons cannot send money to you. So for now, it’s just to receive transfers”, Mr. Foster explained.
When asked how long the process will take Mr. Foster expressed with glee, that his team are in the final stage of obtaining the proper licenses and creating the website. They have to make sure that the website is one hundred percent secure. It will be up and running within a few weeks.
Operating online will save the hassle of overhead costs, but our Maroon brothers and sisters will be limited to working with digital currency only and data charges would apply. Having a location where all Maroons can receive cash from a real person will be an option, because not all Maroons are tech savvy or will have a digital account immediately. Maroons in Accompong and surrounding communities may feel more comfortable knowing they can deal with a real human being as opposed to just an online presence. For now, this remittance service is only for the Maroons, later it may expand to all of Jamaica then Globally, right now it is only for my Maroon brothers and sisters, the deep voiced Maroon business man continued to explain.
Since we will be transferring money exclusively to Accompong Town for now, the fees and transaction cost will be affordable, unlike other financial service companies whose fees are high along with transportation cost incurred when Maroons have to travel miles to receive their money
It will take some time for the Maroons to learn about digital currency and understand how it will work, benefit them and aid in their financial growth.
We must be adaptable and alert, as the rules governing money transfers are constantly changing. As technology, security and international relations evolve, so will the Maroon remittance business.
“I find great joy to know that I am a part of the developing process for the people of Accompong and the Accompong community”, said Mr. Dennis Foster.