Pressing Ahead with Digital
In December 2021 Prime Minister Mia Mottley revealed the launch of a digital bank was imminent while delivering the 16th Patrick Emmanuel Memorial Lecture, Forging a Nation Confronting New Realities. Last week SAGICOR Financial Company Limited (SFC) announced that it will establish a fully digital commercial bank come June or July 2022 through an entity called Sagicor Bank (Barbados) Limited (SBB). It is good to see the private sector stepping up to the plate to deliver on the vision which Mottley shared for Barbados in her address.
For small-island governments, the moment is now to be brave and to be strategic to build new frameworks of economic enfranchisement of our people, recognizing that we can do so not only through renewable energy but through embracing and understanding and deconstructing the power of the digital for our people to be able to … no longer be afraid of speaking and striving toward wealth creation…We need a generation of Caribbean millionaires and Caribbean billionaires if we are going to sustain these economies in our region – a generation of Caribbean young entrepreneurs that convert our particular sensibilities and approaches into billion-dollar global businesses…Prime Minister Mia Mottley
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What is a neobank? Neobanks are financial institutions that give customers a cheaper alternative to traditional banks. They can be thought of as digital banks, thus having no physical branches, and offering services that traditional banks don’t.
If Sagicor’s digital bank is successful delivering on its mission, it should drastically change the cost of services for certain types of transactions in Barbados. The blogmaster is supportive of any initiative that will benefit the public. Barbados Underground has been highlighting government’s digitalization initiative as well as local fintechs making a splash in the global space.
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Of related interest, Barbadians who followed the recent budget debate learned that the National Payments System legislation and accompanying Fair Credit Reporting Act will be proclaimed on April 15, 2022 and a National Payments System Council will be in place by April 30th. The objective is to enable the new system to be in full operation by October, 2022. We wish the government well with timely implementation.