The jockeying for position has begun!
The foregoing article highlights the planning, development and deployment activities around the issue of mobile payments. This is germane for the Caribbean, as the World Bank reports that this region is #1 for homeland remittances from expatriated citizens.
This is a matter of supply and demand. The Caribbean Diaspora demands to send money; tools like Western Union, MoneyGram and these new solutions, identified here, supply the services.
But change is coming!
Reuters: Soham Chatterjee & Abhirup Roy (Bangalore)
Facebook Inc. is preparing to join the mobile-payments race with remittances and electronic-money services on the social network, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing several people involved in the process.
The company is close to obtaining approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to start a service that would allow users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange with others, the people told the FT. See: http://link.reuters.com/dag58v
The Irish Central Bank declined to comment.
Facebook was not immediately available for comment.
The company has also had partnership talks with at least three London start-ups — TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo — that offer online and mobile international money transfer services, three people involved in the discussions told FT.
Telecom groups, retailers and banks are all trying to secure a [slice of the pie] of global mobile payments, which is predicted to grow rapidly in the next few years.
Vodafone brought its mobile money transfer service M-Pesa to Romania last month, following its success in Africa, and is likely to expand the service in eastern and central Europe.
Facebook’s rival Google Inc.’s head of payments recently reiterated commitment to the struggling Google Wallet and mobile payments service. The company had allowed users to send money last year as an email attachment.
Google Wallet now lets you send money as an attachment in Gmail: http://link.reuters.com/wyf58v
Google exec reiterates commitment to mobile payments: http://link.reuters.com/xyf58v
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in January the company’s interest in mobile payments was a reason for creating the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in its iPhone 5S smartphone – http://link.reuters.com/sag58v
Global mobile transactions are expected to grow at an average 35 percent per year between 2012 and 2017, according to a report by research firm Gartner. The June 2013 report forecast a $721 billion market with more than 450 million users by 2017 – http://link.reuters.com/nyf58v.
Yahoo Online News Source (Retrieved 04/14/2014) –http://news.yahoo.com/facebook-plans-mobile-payment-services-ft-133451646–sector.html
The book, Go Lean…Caribbean, serving as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), identified that new methods are needed to facilitate remittances. A lot of money is remitted back to the Caribbean (over $9 Billion dollars in 2010; sometimes 10% of GDP), and too many foreign entities are profiting on the backs of hard-working Caribbean people. The book lists a series of new alternatives that will be pursued in the Go Lean roadmap, some of which are identified in the foregoing news article.
This article also raises other issues, such as globalization, ICT, Social Media and Mobile Application development. All of these are covered in exhaustive details in the Go Lean book.
The premise is that the CU is chartered so that the Caribbean can have a hand in its own self-determination. There should be home-grown (Caribbean-based) solutions for Caribbean problems.
This point is pronounced early in the book, in the opening Declaration of Interdependence – (Page 14):
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.
In line with the foregoing article, the Go Lean book advocates some infrastructural enhancements so that the region can play a role in the development/deployment of this important industry. The book references are as follows:
• Research & Development (Page 30)
• Caribbean Central Bank (Page 73)
• Impact Social Media (Page 111)
• Benefit from Globalization (Page 119)
• Fostering e-Commerce (Page 198)
• Banking Reforms (Page 199)
• Impacting the Diaspora (Page 217)
• Alternative Remittance Modes (Page 270)
Who will win the “space race” between all the big Information Technology providers (Facebook, Google, Apple or Vodafone as depicted in the foregoing articles)? It is not known yet! But for the Caribbean, we must not be spectators only. Not this time!
With the CU / Go Lean roadmap in place, we can declare: Change has come to the Caribbean.
Download the book – Go Lean…Caribbean Now!!!