Digital Currency Promises New Opportunities for MSMEs

Local entrepreneurs are heralding the opportunities that now exist for Jamaicans due to the digital transition. The stance was made at the recently concluded Wealth Summit on Digital Financial Inclusion hosted by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.

All six presenters at the summit, who were drawn from the public and private sectors, advocated for the benefits to be derived from the digital transitions taking place in Jamaican businesses. The presentations outlined how adapting to the digital shift can redound to the benefit of not just individuals but the country at large.

In making the case, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Natalie Haynes, spoke about the BOJ’s initiative on digital currency. Mrs. Haynes noted that through the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project, the Bank will contribute to the financial inclusion process by enabling easy to obtain, simple and secure access to financial products and services.

Noted financial guru and Chief Executive Officer of Supreme Ventures Services Limited, Dennis Chung, focused on the topic 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 when we deploy dramatic new technology. What we have done is to blow up the old business models, and if we don’t do that it is going to be difficult to survive.”

Chief Executive Offer of Mobile Edge Solutions, Leighton Campbell, echoed the sentiments that digital inclusion is paramount to getting Jamaica out of poverty. In his 20-minute presentation, Campbell reiterated how his company offered solutions for entrepreneurs to get paid online.

General Manager for Channels, Relationships & Marketing at the Development Bank of Jamaica, Edison Galbraith, explained how the DBJ was financing digitisation for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. He maintained that the DBJ had the best opportunities for MSMEs through the DBJ Serve Jamaica Programme.

A final discussion was held with Haynes and CEO of TFOB (2021) Limited, a subsidiary of NCB Financial Group Limited, Vernon James, who indicated that the National Commercial Bank had developed Lynk to work in tandem with the digital currency programme of the BOJ.

Persons are advised to keep updated on the new developments that are taking place to enable digital financial inclusion on the island.

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