Do online payments offer economic options?

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) remains a viable, little-understood tool to help pull the Caribbean out of its economic mess.

For more than a decade the Barbadian-created software has been written and the mechanism used in valuable but a limited way to pay for bills and taxes. This has not been developed and marketed in any sustained way to make inflows of foreign exchange from Barbadians living in North America, Europe or any non-Barbados home. The same would obtain for any Caribbean country.

Properly developed as a Government-private sector venture with Government having a hands-off role Barbados would earn far more foreign exchange to help pay for imports of supplies of medicine, education materials and other basic goods with money earned from abroad in far stronger currencies.

So why have we not recognized and adopted this approach? Why is Estonia the world leader in digital economic developments that contribute tangibly to its citizens?

But to get back on point my suggestion is anything people need to adopt must be based on sustained promotion in simple language. This is another definition of communication, which I suspect the private sector and citizens functioning in a digital, social media world of instant point of click or touch tools are best capable of promoting.

In the words of an online community we speak of something going viral.

Crypto currency presents a parallel or additional opportunity, as paradoxical as this way seem, to bring fresh money into an economy badly in need of oxygen to stay alive.

But again we have the social hurdles of little understanding, little action ad similar to the online payments option which remains a sleeping opportunity.

Crypto currency can transform business hence the recent BITT merchant launch in Barbados needs to be understood to see how both citizens and businesses may benefit from cheaper cost of doing business and quicker transactions.

Like online payments from the diaspora the crypto currency revolution allows for payments by citizens overseas with stronger currencies than the Barbados dollar to support the local economy and its people. Increasingly, there will be more and more businesses accepting payments for services and goods locally in digital currency. It could be digital Barbadian dollars or some digital coin.

In Barbados we have a knack to think about problems and challenges and dwell on fears rather than educating ourselves about real-time opportunities that can benefit us immediately as a people and as an economy.



Source: (Hallam Hope is a marketing communications consultant. Email :

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