Seventy-five local credit unions and other financial institutions formed part of an integral session entitled “Launch and Learn” hosted by Global Integrated FinTech Solutions (GIFTS), a Barbados based company involved in end to end solutions in the financial ecosystem. The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Tuesday 20th March where these financial institutions were advised to adopt state of the art solutions to successfully compete and advance their operations.
Introducing the regional based company, Mr. Geron Burnett, Manager of Financial Markets Development at the Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre (TTIFC) said he was pleased that GIFTS opted to introduce and deliver their world class financial technology to this country first as it was proof that its financial systems were completely secure, dynamic and accessible. He reminded the participants that the TTIFC’s mandate was to continuously assist with economic diversification by facilitating the development of the financial services sector, which is the 5th highest contributor to GDP and employs approximately 9% of the country’s labour force.
Among the benefits, the regional company provides a core banking solution which facilitates mobile and internet banking, credit/debit card processing, cybersecurity, an electronic payment gateway and the One Caribbean debit card. These features, according to Ms. Brenda Pope, Chief Project Officer, GIFTS are available without the exorbitant development and integration costs that are customary with similar offerings in the Caribbean market.
She emphasized that every transaction is double checked for fraudulent activities. She said, “The company enables LMFIs to process debit card transactions on the same system currently utilized by Fortune Global 500 companies. Clients can also deploy AML tracking software which is used by Dow Jones and leading merchant banks in the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man and other global offshore domiciles.”
Mr. Dave Sahadath, Director of Business Development (and co-founder of GIFTS) assured that the regulatory process as it relates to the One Caribbean Card will be in place and supported by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.
“Anytime we enter into a market,” he said, “we do so by engaging the regulators which is very important. We are currently in the process of getting the necessary approvals with the Central Bank and we felt it necessary to inform the financial institutions that our software is available. I am confident that we will get the regulatory approvals since our software has been built to world class standards.”
He explained that the card enables payments from the diaspora to several member institutions and is supported and accepted by indigenous institutions throughout the Caribbean, “It would allow the Caribbean region to fulfil its CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) dream by implementing this sort of payment without the dependence on international brands.”
He also noted it supported Caribbean cross remittances in local currencies while having all the features of an international card. The card utilises the latest technology of EMV (Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®), and adheres to the highest standard of security certification.
He said the cost associated with implementation will be affordable, “What we offer are solutions aimed at combatting high implementation costs, and a low spend operating model that takes advantage of timely upgrades. Our solutions open up new revenue streams to users that in a large part are available, but not utilized in the Caribbean.
Additionally, as Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) issues become more frequent touchpoints in the financial conversation, GIFTS provides an Anti-Money Laundering module, a piece of software currently in use at Dow Jones, which enables an AML/CTF project team to deliver the required level of monitoring and reporting with a full audit trail in a cost-effective way.”
Participants were able to preview the world-class financial services platform technology used by GIFTS and were able to interact with members of the team to determine whether GIFTS can transform their business by integrating end-to-end solutions into their daily tasks. A major local credit union has already invited the company to speak to their managerial team on the possibility of utilizing the software.