In keeping with its mandate, the Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Centre (T&T IFC) is tasked with the development of the Financial Services sector. As such, the T&T IFC is working towards making T&T a FinTech-enabled Financial Services Hub. To support this, the T&T IFC advocates for T&T becoming a ‘Cashless Society‘ and is the main driver for Financial Technology (FinTech) Integration across all sectors in T&T.
Integrating FinTech at a national level requires a ‘resourceful ally’ for all the related stakeholders that would have to contribute to building out the required enabling ecosystem.
While FinTech integration has proved to be more urgent due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s thrust towards economic recovery, we know that there is a need for more information about FinTech and its untapped benefits.
The T&T IFC has been working on several initiatives all geared towards achieving this goal. Some of these include the following.
The Launch of One FinTech Avenue
The T&T IFC launched One FinTech Avenue on July 5th, 2023. One FinTech Avenue aims to serve as the centre of activity for FinTech within T&T, as well as the Caribbean region. It is envisioned that the Centre will promote the ecosystem by hosting relevant infrastructure, businesses, and individuals, as well as promoting opportunities for engagement and interaction.
Input and review of e-Money Policy, Order, Cabinet Note, and the NBNFIs guidelines
The T&T IFC discussed its efforts and role in FinTech integration and received affirmation from the Minister of Finance that the Company would be the ‘driver’ for making T&T a ‘cashless society’.
The T&T IFC also discussed its initial thoughts on the CBTT’s e-Money Policy,
developed in furtherance of registration of e-Money issuers (EMIs) under Section 17(4) of the Financial Institutions Act (FIA 2008). This resulted in the Minister’s approval for the T&T IFC to independently review the e-Money policy and related documents and submit feedback ahead of the next Cabinet meeting.
After discussions with the CBTT and Minister of Finance, it was agreed that the T&T IFC would revise the ministerial order using input from FinTech stakeholders, as well as an independent audit of global practices. The e-Money Policy has since been adopted (effective August 4th) through the approval of the e-Money Ministerial Order by the Cabinet. In addition, the T&T IFC would have also reviewed and commented on the draft ‘Guideline for Non-Bank Non-Financial Institutions in Retail Payments’, in conjunction with FinTechTT and provided feedback to the CBTT.