Central Bank awards provisional e-money issuer registration to TSTT
Communications provider set to deploy e-wallet - PAYPR
TSTT Corporate Communications
The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) has awarded a provisional registration to the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) to issue e-money. This milestone marks a significant step towards providing Trinidad and Tobago with a robust and secure e-money platform via a mobile wallet that will support financial inclusion and drive economic growth.
TSTT's e-money business is expected to play a crucial role in bringing financial services to the unbanked and under-banked population in Trinidad and Tobago. The platform will allow both segments of customers to store and transfer money and make and receive payments with merchants via mobile phones. This second phase of TSTT’s fintech journey, follows the recent national launch of e-PAY, a national payments aggregation platform in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre (TTIFC) and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
Operating under the brand PAYPR, TSTT's e-money platform has the potential to become the most comprehensively deployed ecosystem for payments within Trinidad and Tobago for both cash and non-cash transactions. The provisional registration, which covers an initial 6-month period, authorises TSTT to issue e-money in Trinidad and Tobago from March 1, 2023. Under the terms of the registration, TSTT will be allowed to enlist new customers in a controlled environment monitored by the Central Bank.
Lisa Agard, CEO of TSTT, has recognised this as one of the most exciting days in the company's history. “This move will take Trinidad and Tobago's digitalisation journey to a new level. More than simply a new way to pay, PAYPR also brings significant benefits to segments of our population who are currently not part of the financial system. Therefore, this stands to benefit the country fairly and equitably." The CEO noted that this aligns with the digitalisation agenda enunciated by the Government to create a digital society, digital economy and a digital government. "TSTT is investing significantly into future-proofing our society to enable a whole new generation of investors, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs to thrive in a technologically-forward environment. We thank the Central Bank, its Board of Directors, Executive Management team and its employees for entertaining our application and we look forward to our teams continuing to work collaboratively as this mobile wallet is rolled out.”
Keino Cox, AGM of Emerging Services and Innovation at TSTT, noted that the company was able to leverage TSTT's robust infrastructure and knowledgeable talent to bring PAYPR to life. "PAYPR will provide the citizenry of Trinidad and Tobago a digital means to use their mobile phone as a virtual wallet to digitally 'store' cash, spend at retailers and payment service providers, and make 'peer to peer' transfers. PAYPR will provide an ideal, touchless alternative to traditional hard cash and plastic cards using the mobile network."
Electronic payments and electronic wallets are increasingly becoming a popular means of financial transactions globally. According to recent studies, over 1.7 billion adults are still unbanked globally and lack access to essential financial services. There were 1.98 million mobile subscribers in Trinidad and Tobago in September 2022 (145% of the population), making mobile phones an accessible portal to moving towards a truly cashless society.
For further information, please see the E-Money Issuer Order (2020), which can be accessed along with other background material, via the Central Bank’s website at: https://www.central- bank.org.tt/fintech.