Local entrepreneurs advertise the opportunities that now exist for Jamaicans due to the digital transition. The position was taken at the recent Wealth Summit on Digital Financial Inclusion hosted by the Ministry of Finance and the Civil Service.
The six summit presenters, from both the public and private sectors, advocated for the benefits to be gained from the digital transitions underway in Jamaican businesses. The presentations highlighted how adapting to the digital shift can benefit not only individuals but the country as a whole.
Pleading the case, Bank of Jamaica Deputy Governor Natalie Haynes spoke about the BOJ’s digital currency initiative. Ms. Haynes noted that through the Central Bank Digital Currency Project (CBDC), the Bank will contribute to the process of financial inclusion by enabling easy, simple and secure access to financial products and services. “Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are a digital form of money issued by a central authority. The CBDC adds to the current pool of retail payment instruments in Jamaica. Mrs. Haynes said.
Renowned financial guru and CEO of Supreme Ventures Services Limited, Dennis Chung, focused on the topic of Transitioning to Digital. Mr. Chung said Supreme Ventures was able to successfully transition during the pandemic by being innovative, “There is a difference between digital transformation and digital transition. The digital transition is really about upgrading software, but the transformation is about deploying spectacular new technology. What we have done is blow up old business models, and if we don’t, it will be difficult to survive.
Mr. Chung argued that digital transformation must meet customer needs. “We already have mobile apps in place and we (Supreme Ventures) are probably the largest transactional mobile company in the region. What we have done is have our back office operations communicate effectively with our front office and retail operations. It’s a whole transformation that has to happen; so what we do is go from the base to the customer. This is how we have to think if we are to transform ourselves digitally and create value for our customers and ultimately for the country from a productive point of view, ”he said.
Mobile Edge Solutions CEO Leighton Campbell echoed feelings that digital inclusion is key to lifting Jamaica out of poverty. In his 20-minute presentation, Mr. Campbell reiterated how his company provided solutions for entrepreneurs to get paid online.
“I firmly believe that going online is one of the easiest ways to boost entrepreneurship. The more we allow it, the more we educate people, the better for them. I believe it’s an equalizer in space [for] someone who is a little man; once they can sell online [they] can compete in the market. Mr. Campbell noted.
The Managing Director of Channels, Relations and Marketing at the Development Bank of Jamaica, Edison Galbraith, explained how DBJ is funding digitalization for micro, small and medium enterprises. He said that DBJ provided the best opportunities for MSMEs through the DBJ Serve Jamaica program.
TTech CEO Chris Reckord highlighted how people can protect their online transactions.
A final discussion took place with Ms Haynes and the CEO of TFOB (2021) Limited, a subsidiary of NCB Financial Group Limited, Vernon James, who reported that the National Commercial Bank had developed Lynk to work in tandem with the currency program. digital from the BOJ. “Lynk will be the vehicle for consumers to receive, transport and use the CBDC. Lynk will be a unique product for [the] Jamaican Market because you can open an account digitally in five minutes, no paperwork required. Mr. James said.
People are advised to keep abreast of new developments taking place to enable digital financial inclusion on the island.