Industrial Reboot – Payment Cards 101

Go Lean Commentary

The purpose of any business is to earn a profit.

Profit is good!

We may be more familiar with a parallel version of this expression, as related in a previous blog-commentary:

greed is good! In this case “greed” is not being defined as excess, but rather the natural desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one’s self. The dreaded excess of “greed”, on the other hand, is a “vice” that must be cautiously monitored and curtailed, i.e. Crony-Capitalism.

When there is an opportunity for profit, people, companies and industries step-in and step-up for the chances to earn. This is the basis for capitalism and other market-based economies. So the profit motive is attached to any industrial landscape. Whenever economic engines become strained and stressed – devoid of profit – the industrial landscape should be revisited and rebooted.

This is the assessment of the Caribbean – our economic engines are in crisis – and this is the intent of the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean – a crisis is a terrible thing to waste . This is why the book opens with a relevant pronouncement in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 13):

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

There is now the opportunity to transform the industrial landscape of Caribbean communities; we can install controls so as to better manage our economy and industrial landscape. Among the many strategies and tactics discussed by this Go Lean movement, there is this one irresistible prospect of introducing electronic money (e-Money) or Payment Cards through out the region.

So, instead of cash, industrial stakeholders will do most transactions … electronically. This changes everything!

With an e-Money/Payment Cards deployment, there would be so many benefits; consider these possibilities:

  • Functional – Payroll and Government Benefits can be easily loaded; credit programs can also be added.
  • Universality – whether its e-Money or Payment Cards, all financial transactions can be executed
  • Portability – e-Money can be used in Cyberspace and in the real world transactions (merchant POS, ATMs)
  • Security – Smartchips and PIN options can ensure against unauthorized use.
  • Resilience – card-to-card transactions can be conducted even with no online connection – think Block-chain.
  • Risk-aversion – The informal economy and Black Markets are mitigated, thereby fostering tax revenues.
  • Far-reaching – Benefits outside of the payment transaction; the scheme increases the money supply (M1), which increases available bank capital for community investments.

This is Payment Cards 101. See the exploratory VIDEO in the Appendix below.

The actuality of a country’s universal acceptance of e-Money/Payment Cards is not just academic, it is already in play … in model countries – think India. They, this emerging economy of 1.2 billion people, have rolled out numerous e-Money products for their “rupee” currency. They have learned-lessons – good, bad and ugly – for us to apply in our implementation. This summary was detailed in a previous Go Lean commentary; consider this excerpt:

Excerpt: What the U.S. can learn from India’s move toward a cashless society

Silicon Valley fancies itself the global leader in innovation. Its leaders hype technologies such as bitcoin and blockchain, which some claim are the greatest inventions since the Internet. They are so complex that only a few mathematicians can understand them, and they require massive computing resources to operate — yet billions of dollars are invested in them.

India may have leapfrogged the U.S. technology industry with simple and practical innovations and massive grunt work. It has built a digital infrastructure that will soon process billions more transactions than bitcoin ever has. With this, India will skip two generations of financial technologies and build something as monumental as China’s Great Wall and America’s interstate highways.

In 2009, the government launched a massive project, called Aadhar, to solve this problem by providing a digital identity to everyone based on an individual’s fingerprints and retina scans. As of 2016, the program had issued 12-digit identification numbers to 1.1 billion people. This was the largest and most successful I.T. project in the world and created the foundation for a digital economy.

And then India launched its Unified Payment Interface (UPI), a way for banks to transfer money directly to one another based on a single identifier, such as the Aadhar number.

With a system such as UPI, the billing processor is eliminated, and transaction costs are close to zero. …

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, that the United States should follow Modi’s lead in phasing out currency and moving toward a digital economy, because it would have “benefits that outweigh the cost.” …

Where as India’s e-Money deployment is for their rupee currency, the Caribbean’s plan is to introduce a regional integrated currency branded the Caribbean Dollar (C$). This was the stated intent of the book Go Lean … Caribbean, to serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) and the aligning Caribbean Central Bank (CCB), the issuer of C$. This Go Lean/CU/CCB roadmap depicts e-Money and Payment Cards as a hallmark of technocratic efficiency, with the agility to manage this deployment. This will affect all aspects of Caribbean society – economics, security and governance. As a currency product, surely it affects the economic engines, but with the ubiquity of a government Payment Card system – the government is the largest employer – the universality of this reboot will have immediate impacted.

This reality fits in with the quest of the Go Lean roadmap, to optimize all societal engines, as stated with these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines ; where there is economic successes, “bad actors” always emerge, so there must be a solution for predictive and reactive mitigations and interdictions.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these above engines. This include a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies, including the independent administration of the Caribbean Central Bank.

The Go Lean/CU/CCB roadmap anticipated e-Money and Payment Card schemes. The book detailed strategies as follows:

  • e-Government – The CU is prescribed as the regional administrator for ICT for the Single Market of 30 states and 42-million people. While the Caribbean Central Bank (CCB) will manage the region’s M1, they will embrace the e-Government mandate, calling for card-based, electronic payment options for all federal transactions and encouraging this mode for state/municipal/private facilitations as well. This means that the Caribbean dollar (C$) will be mostly cashless, an accounting currency much like the first years of the Euro. The CCB will settle all C$ electronic transactions (MasterCard-Visa style or ACH style) and charge interchange/clearance fees. – This scheme is fully defined on Page 198.
  • Cruise line passengers using smart-chips – the cruise industry needs the Caribbean more than the Caribbean needs the industry. But the cruise lines have embedded rules/regulations designed to maximize their revenues at the expense of the port-side establishments. The CU solution is to deploy a scheme for smartcards (or smart-phone applications) that function on the ships and at the port cities. This scheme will also employ NFC technology – (Near Field Communications; defined fully at Page 193 – so as to glean the additional security benefits of shielding private financial data of the guest and passengers. [This scheme will incentivize more spending among cruise line passengers.] – Defined fully on Page 193.
  • Electronic Commerce – This holds the promise of “leveling the playing field” so that small merchants can compete against larger merchants. To facilitate e-Commerce, purchased merchandise must get to their destinations as efficiently as possible. The CU’s implementation of the Caribbean Postal Union allows for better logistics for package delivery. – Defined fully on Page 201.
  • Internet Marketplace / Social Media – The CU‘s web portal,, will grant free access, email, IM, and profile pages for CU stakeholders, even normalizing communications thru social media sites. This will facilitate internet commerce activities in the region, as the CU will have hot data on profiles, habits and previous activities, thereby creating opportunities for measured marketing. – Defined fully on Page 198.
  • Government Benefits / Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) – allows State welfare departments to issue benefits via magnetically encoded payment card, used in the United States and the United Kingdom. Common benefits provided (in the United States) via EBT are typically of two general categories: food and cash benefits. – Defined fully on Page 353.
  • Unemployment Benefits – The CU‘s mandate for e-Delivery and e-Payment will make the unemployment benefits process more effective and more efficient. Claimants will be able to apply online or on the phone, and payments will be disbursed to debit/payment cards, as opposed to paper checks. (Payments will be in Caribbean dollars, even in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands). – Defined fully on Page 89.
  • Remittance Solutions for Diaspora – By pursuing the e-Government / e-Payment strategy, the Caribbean Diaspora will be able to remit transfers back home by just loading values onto C$ payment cards [for free]. This simplified system will minimize transfer fees and furnish [Foreign Currency] (Fx) controls. – Defined fully on Page 154.

There are countless examples of electronic money schemes facilitating more commerce (i.e. e-Commerce). The key is having an settlement / clearing entity. Under the Go Lean roadmap, that role is assumed by the CCB.

This changes everything … for everyone. Yes, we can!

The Go Lean book provides details of the community ethos to adopt, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies that are necessary to executed in order to deliver the e-Money / Payment Card solutions to the Caribbean region. Within its 370-pages, the Go Lean book re-affirms the mantra that Internet & Communication Technologies (ICT) can be used as a great equalizer so that small nation-states can compete against large nation-states.

The points of effective, technocratic e-Money stewardship were further elaborated upon in previous blog/commentaries. Consider this sample: Leading with Money Matters – Almighty Dollar Transforming Money Countrywide – The Model of India The Future of Money New Security Chip in Credit Cards Unveiled Move over Mastercard/Visa, Time for Local Settlement Cruise Ship Commerce – Getting Ready for Change Cash, Credit or iPhone … RBC EZPay – Ready for Change MetroCard – Model for the Caribbean Dollar PayPal expands payment services to 10 markets Bitcoin virtual currency needs regulatory framework to change image Facebook plans to provide Fintech – Mobile payment services One single currency, divergent economies – Europe’s Model

An e-Money transformation will mean rebooting the industrial landscape of the Caribbean. In general, rebooting the region’s industrial landscape is not a new subject for this Go Lean movement; this commentary has previously identified a number of industrial initiatives to launch a reboot in the region. See the list of previous submissions on Industrial Reboots here:

  1. Industrial RebootsFerries 101 – Published June 27, 2017
  2. Industrial RebootsPrisons 101 – Published October 4, 2017
  3. Industrial RebootsPipeline 101 – Published October 5, 2017
  4. Industrial RebootsFrozen Foods 101 – Published October 6, 2017
  5. Industrial RebootsCall Centers 101 – Published July 2, 2018
  6. Industrial RebootsPrefab Housing 101 – Published July 14, 2018
  7. Industrial RebootsTrauma 101 – Published July 18, 2018
  8. Industrial RebootsAuto-making 101 – Published July 19, 2018
  9. Industrial RebootsShipbuilding 101 – Published July 20, 2018
  10. Industrial RebootsFisheries 101 – Published July 23, 2018
  11. Industrial RebootsLottery 101 – Published July 24, 2018
  12. Industrial RebootsCulture 101 – Published July 25, 2018
  13. Industrial RebootsTourism 2.0 – Published July 27, 2018
  14. Industrial RebootsCruise Tourism 2.0 – Published July 27, 2018
  15. Industrial RebootsReinsurance Sidecars 101 – Published October 2, 2018
  16. Industrial RebootsNavy Piers 101 – Published October 9, 2018
  17. Industrial Reboots – Payment Cards 101 – Published Today – October 11, 2018

In summary, our Caribbean region needs a better industrial landscape to improve our economics, security and governance. While transforming to an e-Money / Payment Card economy may be heavy-lifting, it is worth all the hard work. This plan is conceivable, believable and achievable – India is doing it!

Let’s lean-in to the Go Lean roadmap to reboot our industrial landscape. Time to get going. There is only one destination for all of this effort: a better Caribbean homeland to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEOHow Credit Card Processing Works – Transaction Cycle & 2 Pricing Models

Published on Apr 4, 2014 –
How Credit Card Processing Works :

This video explains how credit card payments are passed from the cardholder to the merchant bank account. Included in the video is the transaction cycle, and a detailed explanation of the two main pricing models. If you’ve ever wondered:
How Does Credit Card Processing Work?
How To Process Credit Cards?
How Credit Card Processing Works?
How To Accept Credit Card Payments At Your Business or Understanding the transaction flow?

Then you’ll want to watch this video. It’s part of a credit card processing basics video series so be sure to check back for more updates and additional videos in the series.
Additionally, you can check out for more tips and tutorials on how merchant account processing works.

Category: Education

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