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DPM outlines Central Bank’s role in increasing local financial sector participation

The government has asked The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) to find solutions as soon as possible to have more Bahamians participate in the financial sector, especially when it comes to solutions based on new technology.

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest, who was speaking at yesterday’s Bahamas AML/CFT Risk Management Conference at Baha Mar, explained that the government has asked CBOB to produce a detailed report by June 30, 2019 on the current state of financial inclusion in The Bahamas; to identify areas where financial inclusion can be improved; and to recommend steps that can be taken by the government and the private sector to improve financial inclusion. 

“There are other areas in which regulators are demonstrating great leadership and success,” said Turnquest.

“In fact, I want to commend the Central Bank for its leadership in the area of financial inclusion, particularly when it comes to technology driven access to financial services for family island communities. Your work is preliminary, but you have a clear vision to maximize financial inclusion domestically.”

CBOB recently approved an electronic money mobile payment provider that will allow consumers to load money into a number of mobile and wearable items.

Island Pay announced in a press release that the company will use the Contactless Companion Platform (CCP) that “will allow Bahamians and visitors alike to make contactless payments between themselves or with retailers across the archipelago”.

CCP runs on secure chip technology from Samsung Semiconductor. The software application platform is provided by Smartlink, a Swiss fintech specializing in mobile and alternative payment solutions, according to the release.

Turnquest said he has asked Central Bank Governor John Rolle to concentrate “on practical ideas that can be achieved in the reasonably short term” for financial inclusion products and services.

Turnquest further asked that the CBOB create these products and services “without the need for major legislative reforms or government spending, and without imposing large capital or operating costs upon the industry”.

“Our expectation is that this work will focus on cataloguing and assessing already identified potential reforms, or at least partially identified reforms,” said Turnquest.

“In addition, I have also asked for a list of longer term ideas that will probably require deeper consideration. Nothing in this request is meant to slow the public sector reform efforts already underway,” he noted.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
Symonette: Financial
Minnis: Skills devel