One Step Closer: e-Money Solutions

Go Lean Commentary

Old: A penny saved … is a penny earned!
New: A penny saved … is a penny!

Don’t get it twisted! While the discipline of savings is a positive ethos, the end result of saving a penny is still just a penny. The goal must be to match the good ethos with some real financial resources:

  • A $Million saved, is a $Million earned
  • A $Billion saved, is a $Billion earned
  • A $Trillion saved, is a $Trillion earned

The assessment of the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean is that we need to foster the positive community ethos to save and invest – we need to be more Future Focused. At the same time, we also need to avail ourselves of the leverage of a regional Single Market economy for the 30 Caribbean member-states, rather than just one (1) little country by itself.

This commentary is advocating that the ethos that needs to be fostered is the adoption of Electronic Money schemes.

As related in a previous blog-commentary about Payment Cards

…”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.

The Bahamas is now embarking on this journey …

… this is a great First Step. See the full story here:

Title: Island Pay Licensed to Provide Electronic Money Solution in The Bahamas
NASSAU (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Island Pay, an electronic money mobile payment service provider has been granted a license by the Central Bank of The Bahamas. The Payment Service Provider license was issued after Island Pay met the qualifications  of the Regulations and Guidelines of the Central Bank’s mandatory requirements set out in the “Payment Instruments (Oversight) Regulations, 2017” that came into force on July 21th, 2017.

Island Pay has been granted the first license under these new Regulations.

Frank Svatousek, Island Pay CEO said, “the Central Bank regulates domestic payment service providers including retail banks, credit unions and money transmission businesses, but saw the need to establish a new class of provider, the payments institution. In  a recent paper titled Digital Currency – Extending the Payments System Modernisation Initiative the Central Bank recognized that the shrinking footprint of the retail banks coupled with the increased shift in payments towards electronic modes necessitated regulatory review and the creation of the Payment Service Provider.”

“Among the benefits of this new class of service provider,” Mr. Svatousek said, “is that our Bahamian customers will have cost effective and easy to use bill payment, person to person transfers, mobile top-up and merchant solutions. As a tokenized service, it is as secure as existing mobile payment services and all of our customers’ data is securely held in The Bahamas. The smartphone application, available for Android and iOS, allows users to manage the service with security and control from any island in The Bahamas.”

About Island Pay
Island Pay was founded in 2016.  The company recognizes the strong business case for mobile electronic money providers seeking to re-do the way consumers interact with payments, authentication and identity, especially in underserved areas of the globe. Before Island Pay, management co-founded Carta Worldwide and Mint Technology. More information can be found on the Island Pay website.

For further Information contact:

Frank Svatousek, CEO
Island Pay

Source: Ltd posted October 9, 2018; retrieved October 28, 2019 from:


VIDEO Introducing the Island Pay Digital Wallet

Island Pay
Posted May 27, 2019
– Island Pay is the first Payment Service Provider licensed by the Central Bank of the Bahamas. The Island Pay Digital Wallet will allow users to load and withdraw cash at Island Pay locations, transfer money between friends, pay bills and purchase mobile minutes for friends at home and abroad. Island Pay Customers will be able pay in-store and online at participating merchants.

This First Step – regulatory framework – is just One Step closer to the vision of a regional e-Money currency for the full Caribbean. Yes, we can …

Conceive, Believe, Achieve
We have conceived this e-Money plan, and now we see the regulatory framework being put in place. This was the intent of the Go Lean book, 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 Caribbean Dollar (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.

This reality of e-Money fits in with the quest of the Go Lean roadmap, to optimize all these societal engines. Notice how that aforementioned previous Go Lean blog-commentary identified vital areas in society that would be affected:

  • 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 – see Appendix VIDEO below; (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.]
  • 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) – This sub-system allows State welfare departments to issue benefits via magnetically encoded payment cards, 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.

Having these many instances of electronic money solutions means that there must be a technocratic settlement / clearing entity. Enter the Central Bank of the Bahamas for the Bahamian offering. But for a regional deployment, Go Lean roadmap, we would need a regional Central Bank, enter the CCB.

Within its 370-pages, the Go Lean book provides details of the community ethos to adopt, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies that are necessary to execute in order to deliver e-Money solutions to the Caribbean region. The 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.

Now a 2nd player – Kanoo – has entered the Bahamas Market – see samples (photos) of their Mobile App here:


The points of effective, technocratic e-Money stewardship were further elaborated upon in many previous blog/commentaries. Consider this sample: Changing the Culture & Currency of Commerce Crypto-currency: Here comes ‘Trouble’ Industrial Reboot – Payment Cards 101 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 Step closer, is good progress, and is better than going in the wrong direction. An e-Money transformation will transform the economic landscape for the Caribbean region. This is good; our region needs a reboot!

In general, rebooting the region’s economics is not a new subject for this Go Lean movement; both the book and previous blog-commentaries have stressed rebooting. While every societal engine needs to be rebooted – including security and governance – all changes will stem from our economic initiatives. This was related in the opening of the Go Lean book as follows (Page 3):

The CU Trade Federation is a technocracy, empowered to reboot the economic engines of the member-states, by fostering new industries (new “purse”) across the entire region and deploying solutions to better exploit the opportunities of the global trade market.

Deploying e-Money solutions will be heavy-lifting; but it is worth all the hard work. Let’s lean-in to the Go Lean roadmap to reboot our economic-fiscal-monetary engines. Let’s build on this First Step; one country down, 29 more to go. (See the Appendix below, entitled “Island Pay Launches its first Caribbean Mobile Payment Solution in The Bahamas using Samsung technology”). This is how we can make our Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play.  🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimize the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establish 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.
  • Improve 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 book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

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

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 14):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

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.

xxvii. Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.

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


Appendix – Island Pay Launches its first Caribbean Mobile Payment Solution in The Bahamas using Samsung technology

NASSAU (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Island Pay, an electronic money mobile payment provider, will roll out the Contactless Companion Platform (CCP) – a digital cash service allowing consumers to load money onto cards, fobs and a range of wearable items.  The new service will allow Bahamians and visitors alike to make contactless payments between themselves or with Island Pay merchants across the whole of the island archipelago. CCP is running on secure chip technology from Samsung Semiconductor, the software application platform is provided by Smartlink, a Swiss fintech specializing in mobile and alternative payment solutions.

Frank Svatousek, Island Pay CEO said, “By adding Smartlink to the Island Pay platform we bring immediate, critical benefits to our Bahamian customers including easy bill payment, mobile top-up and merchant solutions. The launch of the Island Pay cashless payment system, licensed by the Central Bank of The Bahamas, comes at a time when bricks and mortar banks are reducing their footprint allowing us to serve the under-banked as well as the un-banked.”

The Smartlink CCP solution brings contactless digital cash to everyone in all levels of society,” says Eric La Marca, CEO and founder of Smartlink. “With CCP in place, you can make contactless payments via any enabled device of your choice, whether it’s a dedicated smart card, wristband, key fob, or even your smart watch or ring. As long as it’s able to accommodate the secure chip technology from Samsung, there’s hardly any shape or size limit.”

Among the benefits of Island Pay Mr. Svatousek explained that, “It’s a tokenized service, making it as secure as existing mobile payments services. It gives parents the ability to safely transfer money to their children and ensure they can only spend it on what the parents want and with its Web-based or smartphone app interface, available for iOS and Android, it allows users to manage the service and deactivate the chip in the card, fob or wearable item if it is lost. We are thrilled to be working with Samsung and Smartlink as it brings together a powerful combination of security, control and utility for our consumers throughout The Bahamas.”

About Island Pay
Island Pay was founded in 2016.  The company recognizes the strong business case for mobile electronic money providers seeking to re-do the way consumers interact with payments, authentication and identity, especially in underserved areas of the globe. Before Island Pay, management co-founded Carta Worldwide and Mint Technology. More information can be found on the Island Pay website.

About Smartlink SA
Smartlink SA, a fintech company based in Switzerland, is a pioneer in the payment industry. Smartlink offers an award-winning platform to banks and card issuers seeking a first-class mobile wallet application. Its innovation team has recently developed the disruptive Contactless Companion Platform which will be deployed worldwide, to facilitate cashless societies using Digital Cash. For more information, please visit

For further Information contact:

Frank Svatousek, CEO
Island Pay

Sébastien Piolat
Smartlink SA

Source: Island Pay Ltd posted September 11, 2018; retrieved October 28, 2019 from:


Appendix VIDEO – Island Pay discusses Samsung NFC technology

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