NNBCONSULTING BDS LTD has been developing E-commerce Platforms for Local, Regional and International clients for the last 13 years and although the technology is sound and proven, the major headache for my local and regional clients is getting their money into their accounts.
Although there are some solutions developed regionally to remedy this the cost to the average citizen has proven prohibitive. You can also add to the midst PCI compliance and the stress of obtaining a merchant account for the purpose for settlement and clients will run to the wind.
Essentially this creates a situation where aspiring entrepeneurs become frustrated with the process and abandon the notion of going towards a cheaper alternative of setting up an operation that in fact is cheaper to setup than a brick and mortar structure.
WHAT IS THE STATE OF E-COMMERCE IN THE CARIBBEAN?
At its core, there is a key theme seen across a number of areas in regional business. It’s clear that the people of the Caribbean hold great talent and the potential to seize upon the advantages offered by e-Commerce but traditional (what we could now only call outdated) structures have limited its capacity to grow.
This issue is not confined to our region alone. That’s why even though Japan is viewed as a hyper-modern economy on the cutting edge of technology in Asia, its heavily cash-dependent economy also sees it behind the pace in some economic indicators that laud digital finance and transactions.
HOW WILL E-COMMERCE GROW IN THE REGION?
While other nations and regions around the world have looked to rapidly shift to a financial architecture that seizes upon the future‚ the Caribbean has been slower to create change in our banking system and practices, change that enables regional entrepreneurs and businesses to quickly and easily shift their business from bricks and mortar to online operations. Even when they do‚ greater fees or red tape can be an inhibitor to generating new ideas and enthusiasm.
More widely‚ there’s the challenge of regional co-operation. The potential for the Caribbean to grow greater trade ties and relationships within our region is considerable but shifting that longstanding potential into actionable policy is more difficult. Underpinning all this is the irony that the Caribbean is recognised as a leader of global finance (controversies in it notwithstanding).
Again we will add another dimension Digital Currency, Barbados to a greater extent has led the push towards digital money especially with the Bitt wallet, now add credit card capability and an API for the major ecommerce platforms and voila we have solved a major problem.
My firm is eager to work with such firms as E-commerce can also be a major foreign exchange earner for serveral caribbean economies especially in the export sector what we need is an amendment of the existing legal framework.
Now if little Singapore can get it right so can we, the brain power is here and the will.