The advancement in technology has given rise to Fintech companies. These companies are utilising technology to innovate in order to deliver financial services once the preserve of traditional operators. Although an underdeveloped sector in Barbados we have a company or two leading the way. In a previous blog – Excellent News BUT …! Barbados Underground highlighted the success of GIFTS and IPAY.
Last week Reuter reported Nigeria will partner with local Fintech BITT Inc “in its bid to launch its own cryptocurrency, the “eNaira”- see Nigeria to partner with Bitt Inc to launch ‘eNaira’ digital currency. The blogmaster recalls BITT Inc was also selected by the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union to develop a digital cash solution.
We also learned last week the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced 15 finalists for the global competition to develop retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) solutions (Global CBDC Challenge). Again BITT Inc is one of the companies from leading Fintechs shortlisted, we wish them well – see MAS Announces 15 finalists for the Global CBDC Challenge; over 300 submissions from 50 countries received.
The majority of Barbadians do not fully understand the importance of forging new avenues to help to diversify export earnings for the country, we must refresh our tired economic model. We talk a good talk but we lack the intelligence to appreciate what is involved given global competitiveness. We often criticize the government but in this instance the Mottley administration should be commended because in 2018 a regulatory sand box to facilitate companies like BITT Inc was launched and the fruit of that effort maybe is now being realised.
What needs to happen and quickly, is for local education planners to fuse the early success of BITT Inc, GIFTS and IPAY by connecting to national strategic activities to nurture possibilities in a sector that has passed the nascent stage. Is this the task of the newly formed Idamay Denny Education Reform Unit? We wish the new Chief Education Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw success, the future of this and future generations depend on a productive tenure.
In related news, the effort to explore non traditional avenues in trade and services was confirmed last week with the news of Barbados’ first High Commissioner to Kenya -see Barbados’ First High Commissioner To Kenya Accredited and Gabriel Abed who took up a similar post in the UAE -see Foreign Affairs Ministry Appoints New Mission Heads. Coincidentally Mr. Abed is well placed to be a champion of the local budding fintech industry, he was the founder of BITT Inc and is recognized globally as an authority on the subject of digital currencies.
In the interest of Barbados governments finding new strategies to ensure we are able to support our people, the blogmaster wishes all the players success. Although the pandemic has added to a challenging global marketplace Barbados cannot retreat or surrender from the task at hand. Life continues and we must find ways to eat and pay our bills.