TSTT supports first regional FinTech innovation centre
TSTT Corporate Communications
In years to come, historians will look back at July 5th 2023 as the historic day when the city of Port-of-Spain became the capital of innovation in the Caribbean. This was the vision of John Outridge, Chief Executive Officer, Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre (TTIFC) during his remarks at the recent launch of TTIFC’s FinTech innovation hub. Dubbed One FinTech Avenue, the centre is the first of its kind in the Caribbean region.
One FinTech Avenue will serve as Trinidad and Tobago’s national financial technology platform, an ecosystem which will bring infrastructure, organizations and people together to bolster the region’s levels of financial inclusion. It will serve as the focal point for FinTech activity in the Caribbean.
As one of the partners who assisted TTIFC in developing One FinTech Avenue, TSTT provided the fibre connectivity and technology backbone to power the hub. Keino Cox, Assistant General Manager, Emerging Services & Innovation, TSTT also explained that TSTT’s contribution “enabled true collaboration for visitors to the hub via our ecosystem of FinTech solutions which we’ve partnered with the TTIFC to deliver.”
Cox outlined some of TSTT’s own FinTech tools which include e-Pay, a payment aggregation platform which will be of value to consumers; the e-Cashbook, a service as a software platform to be used by public bodies, and PAYPR which will one day allow local consumers to use their mobile phones as a virtual wallet. “These FinTech tools are enabled via a wider ecosystem of digital support to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago,” Cox added.
He observed that he was humbled to have been leading TSTT’s Emerging Services & Innovation team which has been in existence for two and a half years. “Our team leverages the best of TSTT’s technology, networks and people to bring to market new, digital products and services destined to democratize access to, and accelerate, digital adoption within Trinidad and Tobago.”
Extending congratulations to the management and staff of TTIFC, he added, “TSTT looks forward to deepening our partnership with the TTIFC in realizing its goal, and ours, of becoming a cashless society and a FinTech-enabled financial services hub - a journey towards true financial inclusion.”
During his keynote address, the Honorable Brian Manning, Minister in the Ministry of Finance, spoke of how One FinTech Avenue aligns with the goal expressed in the 2022 National Budget of creating a FinTech enabled hub in the country.
“Today’s launch underscores Trinidad and Tobago’s goal to preserve its position as having one of the largest and most diversified financial systems in the Caribbean,” he declared. “This goal is premised on the sector’s interconnection with the rest of the Caribbean which is crucial for a robust ecosystem of digital financial services.”
The Minister emphasized the government’s commitment to championing the industry and stimulating interest in digital payment technologies. He noted that his ministry is urging receivers of revenue to adopt payment digitalisation and digital financial products.
TTIFC CEO Outridge expounded on how One Fintech Avenue will help build and foster Trinidad and Tobago’s burgeoning financial technology ecosystem. He added, “One FinTech Avenue will also make connections with other FinTech nodes around the world, encouraging domestic and international collaborations, working groups, and initiatives.”
Another TTIFC objective is to establish a clear FinTech platform in Trinidad and Tobago under four programs. These are an acceleration programme to support a collaborative environment for FinTechs; a solutions programme to help encourage investors, donors, and partners interested in financing opportunities for emerging FinTechs; a capacity building programme to prepare applicants seeking to apply for licensing or seeking regulatory certainty for the use of technologies, and a research programme to collect data to benefit the centre and to advance digital finance and financial inclusion.