FinTech is making financial services faster, better and cheaper

FinTech or Financial Technology, is not new but is disrupting traditional banking and financial services like never before. Everything from corporations to businesses to the consumer is about to get faster, better and cheaper.

The Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre (T&T IFC) hosted a FinTech Stakeholder Engagement Session on Monday 10th September, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency, Trinidad.

The engagement session entitled “Enabling a FinTech Ecosystem in Trinidad and Tobago” is part of a  pioneering feasibility study conducted by Ernst & Young for the T&T IFC. The aim is to provide insights into global trends and identify niche spheres within the financial sector which can be targeted for growth in Trinidad and Tobago through the adoption of FinTech. As EY continues this study, the T&T IFC is asking for the cooperation of the business community in participating in the FinTech study.

The goal is to use FinTech as a means of diversifying our economy and ensuring future economic prosperity. FinTech is the way forward for both developed and developing economies and the Caribbean is no stranger to FinTech initiatives. Regional counterparts such as the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman and Jamaica are also on the road to user-driven digital singularity and its many benefits which include sustainable employment, foreign direct investment, earning of foreign exchange and ease of doing business.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Senator the Honourable Allyson West, in delivering the feature address, commended the efforts of the T&T IFC in seeking to position Trinidad and Tobago as a financial leader in the region and for advancing ways to integrate FinTech: “This is one area where innovation, and not size, will determine success.”

The Minister acknowledged FinTech increases access to financial services while reducing the backend costs and enhancing the overall customer experience. The stakeholder engagement session also included presentations from T&T IFC Chairman, Richard Young, T&T IFC CEO, Omar Sultan-Khan, Associate Director, EY, Singapore, Varun Parmar and Maria Daniel, EY Partner, Trinidad.

The session allowed for open dialogue and cross-sector commitment to developing the enabling ecosystem for the deliberate development of FinTech in Trinidad and Tobago. There were representatives from banking, insurance, regulators, auditors and there was consensus among both the Public and Private sector that FinTech is the future.

There was a collaborative sentiment expressed that each sector is committed to the full integration of FinTech. Representatives of both the Public and Private Sector agreed to partner, along with the committed support of the T&T IFC, to expand the regulatory framework and policies to embrace FinTech. We are looking forward to Central Bank’s draft FinTech policy expected in the coming months and will play a significant role in FinTech development.

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